Whenever we speak of 'Indians and Inventions', the first thing that pops in our mind is that of the legendary Aryabhatta and his invention of 'zero'. Amidst all these great inventors and discoverers, there have been many a unsung hero, who never got their required due. This week's release Vibhu Virender Puri's HAWAIZAADA is one film which speaks about one such unsung Indian hero who made the world's first aeroplane, years before the Wright Brothers. Does Vibhu do justice to this real-life unsung hero through the medium of the film? Let's analyze.
The film starts off with a 'confession' by Shivkar Talpade aka Shivi (Ayushmann Khurrana) and a narrative by Shastri (Mithun Chakraborty). Shivi is a good-for-nothing, lethargic son of his Govind Talpade (Jayanty Kriplani in a cameo). His claim to fame is that despite being an adult, he is still in school for failing in class for 8 years and is now sitting on the same bench as his nephew Narayan (Naman Jain). Life is absolutely pointless for him... till the time he accidentally 'sees' Sitara (Pallavi Sharda), a tamasha dancer by profession. Ever since the time he sees her, he falls head over heels in love with her, so much so that he even gets thrown out of the house by his father for him wanting to marry a dancer. That's when Shivi lands up meeting the eccentric Shastri (Mithun Chakraborty), whose sole dream is to make a machine that takes (read 'flies') man to the skies. He constantly refers to his book that has the 'secret formula' for the same. The Britishers want to get their hands on this book and stop him from making the plane. But when Shastri sees Shivi and his 'creative mind', he immediately senses immense potential in him and starts grooming him under his care and shelter. In full faith, Shastri reveals to Shivi that his entire life depends upon the book, but since he feared the British, he hands over the same to Shivi, as he is the sole person whom he could trust. When the British get to know about the book, they offer him a whopping 6000 rupees to sell off that book to them, which he firmly refuses. At the same time, there comes a situation when Shivi's ladylove Sitara is neck deep in debts and the sole option to make money is by Shivi selling off the book to the British.
Does Shivi ditch Shastri and his faith by selling that confidential book to the British to save his ladylove, does Shastri become successful in building a plane, does Shivi really live upto the faith that Shastri showed in him... is what forms the rest of the film.
Even though this film is Vibhu Virender Puri's debut as a full fledged director (the short film CHABIWALI POCKET WATCH not with standing), he fails to emit any directorial spark. He seems to be suffering from the 'Sanjay Leela Bhansali hangover' when you see the film being concentrated solely on visuals and expensive (but unwanted) sets and props, but zero thought or structure to the script. Vibhu seems to be very badly confused about the genre of the film. Maybe that explains the reason as to why the film changes its genre almost every 15 minutes! The film which starts off with a confused boy changes (read 'jumps') into a romantic film which then, gets touched upon by inventions and technology, then into a emotional drama, followed by a social filmâ€¦ and lastly ends up as a patriotic film! Phew! Add to that, the film is overloaded with bad songs. The director seems to have got so carried away with the film that he forgot to put a full stop to overindulgence, which is visible in every possible frame. There are way too many props which get used in the film much like the colour scheme, which, over a period of time, becomes tad monotonous. While the first half is extremely lengthy (and we mean it really!), the second half gets dragged unwantedly due to lack of content, thus challenging the level of your patience. As much as 20 full minutes of the film belong to characters questioning each other 'Hawaai jahaj udega ya nahi? '. By the end of it all, you, as a viewer, seem to be least bothered about the aeroplane! Its Vibhu who needs to be blamed for the film's half baked characters and also for some of the characters' over-the-top performances.
As far as the performances are concerned, the film is indeed an Ayushmann Khurrana film all the way. Even though the sincerity with which he has approached his character is really worth mentioning, the poor writing of his character fails him. Its difficult to decipher is he is mentally challenged since he fails class and behaves like a kid or is he a genius who teaches a thing or two about science to Mithun. The veteran actor Mithun Chakraborty and the child artist Naman Jain are the only two names who are worth mentioning for delivering a decent performance. The film's female lead Pallavi Sharda is yet again as expressionless as the film's props. The rest of the characters fluctuate between average and bad and land up doing no good to the film.
While the music of the film (Rochak Kohli, Mangesh Dhakde, Vishal Bhardwaj and Ayushmann Khurrana) is below average, it's the film's background music (Monty Sharma) which holds the movie together. The film's story writers (Vibhu Virender Puri, Saurabh R. Bhave) should have done their job with furthermore intensity by concentrating on the actual subject of the invention of aeroplane, rather than oscillating between other (unwanted) things.
The film's choreographer (Longinus Fernandes) doesn't have much to do but one does feel like applauding the film's costume designer (Sahil Kochhar). The film could have been made into a crispy affair had its editing (Shan Mohammed) been proper. The film tends to suffer big time because of poor editing. Even though the film's DoP (Savita Singh) has done a tremendously commendable job in the film, the heavy visuals become tiring, boring and even irritating as the movie drags along. The film hardly has any dialogue (Vibhu Virender Puri) that is worth remembering, very much like its poor screenplay (Vibhu Virender Puri). The film's sound department scores because of it being in the safe hands of the Oscar winning Resul Pookutty.
If you watch the film with a feeling that you will be transported into the world of invention of the first ever man made desi flight, then, take our word for it that, you will be sorely disappointed, because the film actually is an extravagant 'costume musical'. The film barely touches upon anything that's got to do with the story pertaining to the first manmade Indian flight and is far away from reality. It is instead loaded with melodrama. At the end of the film, one really feels sorry for the film's producer because the over-expense was just not needed!
On the whole, HAWAIZAADA is all gloss no substance. Skip it.