A customer falling down in a convenience store that just mopped its floors and neglected to put up a “Wet Floor” sign would instantly win should the customer wish to file a lawsuit in court. It would be an open-and-shut case. Similarly, a biopic about the first actual inventor and ride of the airplay not The Wright Brothers as history teaches us, should have been a sure-fire hit for the filmmakers. Alas, they instead deliver a half-assed, blubbering mess not at all worthy of the film’s promising set-up.
So many scenes, especially post Intermission, evoke constant eye-rolling that I had to get up and leave the theatre. The last time I did so was five years ago. That is how big a misfire Hawaizaade is. Ayushmann Khurrana, in the role of the mad scientist Shivkar Talpade, raked in a slew of pop hits last year but his daytime job as an actor is suffering as he hasn’t managed to star in a decent picture since sleeper hit, Vicky Donor.
“The filmmakers deliver a half-assed, blubbering mess not at all worthy of the film’s promising set-up.”
Here, he is at the mercy of debutant director (and it shows) Vibhu Puri, who instructs Ayushmann Khuranna to play the part as though he were Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin, which does not make for compelling viewing, for a biopic at least.
What we see before our eyes is Ayushmann relying on an unhealthy balance between buffoonery and hammy acting thus in comedic scenes, he looks pathetically sad and whenever he’s sad, viewers will be rolling in the aisles or at least snickering loudly. The scenes are indeed poorly constructed and littered with godawful lines making Hawaizaada one sad state of affairs.
Don’t get me started on the alleged villains, the British soldiers, who are nothing more than static caricatures unworthy to even be featured in cartoon pictures. And those accents, the actors are clearly not British but the filmmakers thought they could get away with it on account that they believe that most Indian cinema-goers would not be able to distinguish between an actual British accent and Meryl Streep’s attempt in Out of Africa.
Blame must go to the talentless screenwriter who and director but credit must go to the DP who provides late 19th century Mumbai with a whimsical, storybook look that bodes well with the overall tone of the film.
Hawaizaada is not a biopic by any measure, it’s a plane crash. Watch at your own peril.