Cast: Mithun Chakraborty, Ayushmann Khurrana, Pallavi Sharda
Director: Vibhu Virender Puri
I know the Wright brothers as the inventors of the first airplane, but it is believed that, in 1895, eight years before the Wright brothers, an Indian scientist named Shivkar Bapuji Talpade flew the first unmanned aircraft, named Marutsakha.
Vibhu and co-writer Saurabh R Bhave take this fascinating footnote and create a fanciful and largely unconvincing fiction around it. So Shivkar, played by Ayushmann Khurrana, becomes Shivi, a cheerful wastrel who falls in love with a dancing girl named Sitara, played by Pallavi Sharda. But Sitara disappears. The heartbroken Shivi is adopted by Pandit Subbaraya Shastry, played by Mithun Chakraborty. Shastry is some sort of visionary mad scientist who dreams of creating a flying machine. The two experiment with fuels and wings and weird junkyard artifacts. Eventually, of course, Marutsakha emerges.
Vibhu has designed Hawaizaada to be an all-purpose vehicle that has romance, comedy and drama . But the writing is flat and the telling, clumsy. Ayushmann, who is in nearly every frame, trembles with fervour. Mithun matches him. The respite here is Pallavi Sharda, who lifts this film.
I was impressed by how progressive India was in 1895 — at one point, Shivkar and Sitara start living together, and no one objects. Who knew?