Based on the true story of scientist Shivkar Bapuji Talpade who is believed to have invented and flown the first manned aircraft in the 1890s (years before the Wright brothers), ‘Hawaizaada’ is more fiction and less fact. Painted in blues, greens and deep reds, this production designer’s banquet is matched by the overwritten script and overcooked performances.
Talpade and his mentor Shastri toil for years to build a flying machine. These 550 days are shown in montage besides which we hardly see the struggles of finding solutions, constructing the craft of failed flights. Ayushmann Khurrana lacks the acting finesse to interpret Talpade. He beatifically gazes at his paramour Sitara (Pallavi Sharda) in the same way that he looks at his mentor Shastri (Mithun Chakraborty). Sharda too turns back to 50s and 60s melodrama in her rendition and Chakraborty’s wig appears to give him the license to pitch in with an annoyingly juvenile performance.
The love story runs through and distracts from the wonderful story that should have been the mainstay of Vibhu Puri’s debut venture. But the tedious staged songs, the excruciating pace and hammy acting ensure that this venture cannot soar.
There are random British officers trying to sabotage and arrest the development of his machine which could serve as a symbol of rebellion and give the Indian slaves one-up on the Raj. There are aside comments on the zamindari, status of women and oppression by the British as also some national integration elements. Confusing and torturously long, Hawaizaada tries to be all things to all people which results in it failing to take off.