Extra-marital affairs and marital discord seem to be the flavour of the season. However, there are two ways of treating the issue. The first one takes a serious, straight-out-of-life, realistic route, while the second rides on skin-show to depict relationships.
Karan Razdan's HAWAS falls into the latter category. Influenced largely by Adrian Lyne's UNFAITHFUL [2002; starring Richard Gere, Diane Lane, Oliver Martinez], Razdan peeps into the bedroom of three individuals and offers a story that has its share of loose ends, but it works eventually because of the generous dose of sex in the enterprise.
Raj [Shawar Ali] and Sapna [Meghna Naidu] is a young couple living in Dubai. With ambitious dreams of moving to the U.S., Raj immerses himself completely in his work, thereby sidelining his marital life in the process. Sapna starts missing the passion that once existed in their relationship.
Sapna accidentally meets painter cum playboy Ajay [Tarun Arora], who realizes all about her loneliness and exploits it to his advantage. Sapna seems obsessed with Raj and the passion continues to ignite with each passing day.
At first Raj doesn't witness any change in Sapna's behavioral patterns, but when a co-worker enlightens him of it, he hires a private detective [Varun Vardhan] to keep a track on his wife's activities.
The proof of Sapna's infidelity devastates Raj completely. Raj and Sapna decide to end their marriage, but at this juncture something untoward happens and Ajay is murdered.
There has been a continuous influx of love triangles in Hindi cinema since time immemorial. However, HAWAS looks at the issue differently and boldly. Here, the woman cheats on her husband because she misses the passion in their relationship. And when she goes out to seek greener pastures, it's lust on her mind, not love. And it is this very facet that uplifts HAWAS from falling into the same rut of predictable love triangles.
The USP of HAWAS is SEX. There's skin show, there're plenty of steamy scenes, there's titillation - the content clearly justifies the title of the flick.
But Razdan's writing has its share of downers. Like, for instance, the film begins with the cops [Mukesh Tiwari, Vivek Shauq] questioning the lady [Meghna Naidu] about the murder when the fact is that nowhere in the film is it ever indicated that Tarun and Meghna are under a police scanner and that the police would question either of them if at all something goes wrong.
The point is, how does the arrow of suspicion point towards Meghna when Tarun is found murdered?
Two, the culmination to the film is hard to digest. Right from the time when Meghna admits to the crime and surrenders to the cops, to the husband and wife fleeing Dubai [the aircraft takes off even though a red alert has been sounded at the airport!], the finale should've been better conceived.
But Razdan does succeed in making the jaws drop to the knee in a couple of lust-soaked sequences. The erotic number, 'Teri Chahat Mein Mitne Lagi Hoon', is not just the turning point of the story, but the film as well. For, no sooner does the third angle of the triangle comes to the fore in this number, the graph of the film takes a turn for the better.
Razdan's directorial prowess comes to the fore in a couple of well executed scenes, like the one when Shawar confronts Tarun and the discussion that follows, with Shawar not uttering even one word. Also, the rift between the husband and wife takes a natural route and has been well depicted.
Daboo Malik's music is fair. 'Teri Chahat Mein' [repeated twice] is the pick of the lot, followed by 'Maine Dil Tujhko Diya' [filmed on Tarun, Meghna and Russian dancers]. Cinematography [Rajendra Prasad] is quite nice; the locales of Dubai and Sharjah are well captured on celluloid.
HAWAS requires its actors to not only exhibit their prime bodies or look glamorous, but also carry off their characters convincingly.
Meghna Naidu reminds you so much of Bipasha Basu in looks and looks equally alluring. As an actress, she is quite convincing and excels in dances. But she needs to get her make-up right as also maintain a check on her weight.
Shawar Ali does not have the looks of a conventional Bollywood hero, but he sure has the trappings of a fine actor. He does deliver the right expressions that this role demands. If slotted in the right roles, the youngster has the potential to enjoy a successful innings.
Tarun Arora tries to be comfortable with the camera and succeeds. He does look awkward in a few scenes that demand dramatics, but otherwise puts his best foot forward while essaying an out-and-out negative role.
Mukesh Tiwari seems ill at ease in an Arabic accent. Vivek Shauq and Varun Vardhan are passable.
On the whole, HAWAS is a notch above the ordinary. And with sex, sleaze and skin-show as its trump cards, besides a mass appealing title, it has chances of scoring well at the ticket window, mainly at the small centers.