Circa 1895, Shivkar Bapuji Talpade (Ayushmann Khurrana), “an eight times standard four fail", is playing knots and crosses with his nephew in math class. He’s clearly too smart to still be in class IV. He’s a trumpeter and a wastrel who enjoys his tipple. One drunken evening, he takes a wrong turn, and instead of ending up at his father’s plush home, ends up at a theatre where he falls in love with nautch girl Sitara (Pallavi Sharda). His father throws him out of the house and he ends up under the mentorship of an eccentric Shastriji (Mithun Chakraborty).

What does most of this have to do with Talpade being regarded as the Indian scientist to first craft and fly an aeroplane? Nothing. At 157 minutes, most of Vibhu Puri’s film is indulgence and fiction that is trying to connect points of fact. The padding is painfully dull and distracts from the drama, energy and patriotic zeal that could have propelled this story.

Puri clearly has resources at his disposal, invested in creating a mythical ship, several experimental planes and opulent sets reminiscent of Sanjay Leela Bhansali meets Martin Scorsese’s Hugo. Numerous forgettable songs are mounted with theatricality and the acting oscillates between childlike and sincere, subtracting more than adding to the narrative.

Hawaizaada released in theatres on Friday.

Close