Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Pallavi Sharda, Mithun Chakraborty
Director: Vibhu Puri
That ancient Indians had the nous to create a working aircraft is something that has been floated about with great verve recently in learned science meets and in newspaper columns. Hawaizaada seems to have been made to feed into that theory: it tells the story of Shivkar Talpade, an “aathviin fail” (failed in class 8) genius, who manufactured a “hawaai jahaaz” that actually flew, several years before the Wright Brothers.
The secret of the airplane is locked in a diary, which belongs to the eccentric Pandit Shastri (Chakraborty). Said sage lives, for reasons best known to himself, on a wrecked ship which no one is supposed to know about, but everyone seems to find their way to, including the feckless young Talpade (Khurrana).
The labour the two of them put into making the plane translates into long, laboured sequences, which are more a string of fancy dress moments than anything else. A dancing girl (Sharda) is thrown in, to give the hero a chance to romance. Some red-faced Britishers are there too, to fulminate. As well as the genius’s family, who thinks he is wasting his time.
He, and the film, wastes a lot of ours. This could have been a greatly imaginative flight of fancy, but it is anything but. For a film that is about the joy of flying, Hawaizaada fails to sprout any wings. And it is so utterly stuffed with leaden passages in its unbelievably stretched running time, that it bored the bejesus out of me.
The only thing that soars is its music, but for that, I wouldn’t have had to see it, would I?