Rating                               ★★

Directed by                     Vibhu Puri

Produced by                   Vishal Gurnani, Rajesh Banga, Reliance Entertainment, Vibhu Puri

Screenplay by                Vibhu Puri, Saurabh Bhave

Starring                            Ayushmann Khurrana, Pallavi Sharda, Mithun Chakraborty

Music by                           Rochak Kohli, Mangesh Dhakde, Ayushman Khurrana

Cinematography            Savita Singh

Edited by                          Shan Mohammed

Release dates                  January 30, 2015

Running time                 157 minutes

As defined on the ‘know-it-all’ Wikipedia online page; coffee table books are an oversized art & literature piece, positioned best in the shelf to inspire conversation. Subject matter is predominantly non-fiction and pictorial. Nothing changes if you dare to compare the same with debutante writer-director Vibhu Puri’s highly ambitious HAWAIZAADA. Both can make you mesmerized with their picture-perfect, magnanimously shot visuals in its in-detailed presentation but that’s it. There is hardly any room for content there. So, keep flipping the pages till you find the levels of your enthusiasm fading down to minimum. And then, leave it for another. These days, they have plenty in stores for you.

Despite having great possibility of being a well-intentioned period drama-cum-thrilling biopic, HAWAIZAADA offers nothing but plain air sure more than what you buy in your favorite wafer pack at the shop around the corner. Before Wright Brothers could go beyond imagination and invent an airplane, there was an enthusiastic Indian named Shivkar Bapuji Talpade who deserved all the respects for being the real pioneer. A plot fascinating enough for a motion picture, no second thoughts on that! But then you have to see what Vibhu does with that further.

Take inspirations from Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s extravagant Victorian era-inspired hugely unbelievable sets; make your leading character as dynamic, animated and charming as if he’s not from a historic background but out of a fairytale and then put plenty of gloss in everything that comes in your way. It has been a confirmed Midas touch for Bhansali’s fictional outings. Vibhu, one of his worthy successors tries the same with a biopic and fails miserably. You are left in constant doubts as to appreciate the efforts of such gigantic talents of the industry or to mourn the opportunity getting wasted on such large scale.

Rajesh Khanna says in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s ANAND, “Yeh duniya ek ranmanch hai, jahaanpanaah…aur hum sab iski kathputliyaan” (The world is a big stage, my lord…and we all are nothing but the puppets). I have never seen a biopic so theatrical that you just want to remove the disclaimer and enjoy it as a fictional drama. This Bombay of 1895 never looked so decked up. Shastry [Played by Mithun Chakraborty] as a cranky scientist lives in a dumped ship on the shore and it is barely any lesser than a well-established museum.

On the performances, Ayushmann Khurrana charms with his trademark flirtatious looks and killing smile. I hoped to see the compliments like ‘Awww, how cute he is!’ getting up the next level with ‘Wow, how good he acts!’ but looks like I have to wait a little more. Pallavi Sharda of BESHARAM fame is better than her last. Mithun repeats himself but doesn’t fail at all. For the rests, it’s the child actor Naman Jain and Jameel Khan who show some kind of believability to their characters.

Having said that, HAWAIZAADA does have some of the most impressive efforts on the set-designing & writing front [dialogues & lyrics never fall short of expectations] but the completely off-track romance, bumpy screenplay, lack of much-needed realistic approach and the overtly dramatic Broadway like production-style make it a droning, dull and monotonous watch.

Written By:- Gaurav Rai


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