Once in a decade or maybe twice, if we are lucky, an Indian film makes us proud to be who we are. “Hellaro” is one such rarity. It is much more than a film. The sum-total of its parts is so profoundly moving that the work defies a microcosmic assessment. And yet, to not probe into its layers to gauge how deep its undercurrents of emotions run, would be doing this great film a disservice.
Outwardly “Hellaro” is about a bunch of rural Gujarati women seeking emotional and physical empowerment circa 1975, during the days of the draconian Emergency, by defying the patriarchal embargo and doing the Garba.
This description is most inapt in summing what Hellaro does. This is akin to saying the Garba is about two sticks and one pair of feet.