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Go, live your dream!

  • Somesh Sinha

    Somesh Sinha (50 DM Points)

    Desimartini | Updated - November 16, 2014 12:29 AM IST
    3.5DM (1266 ratings)

    Verdict - Don't miss this rich and nuanced soul curry for both, the young and adult heart. It's a *small* film with a *big* heart.

    Hawaa HawaaiWatch trailerRelease date : May 09, 2014

    Right from getting into their little world to portraying their joys, sorrows, concerns and dreams, filmmaker Amole Gupte is impassioned about films with kids as the main characters. HAWAA HAWAAI is a slice of life film about street urchins that makes you appreciate friendship, besides exploring the real world of deprivation and misery along with an underlying message -- Live your dream!

    Hawaa Hawaai goes into a territory that no Hindi film has ever explored earlier -- Roller Skating. Told through the eyes of a 12-year-old kid and filmed extensively from rural Maharashtra to the heart of Mumbai city, it's sure to move you with its sheer unfussiness, sentiments and a jubilant finale. It's a *small* film with a *big* heart. It's a ubiquitous misconception that children's films are not meant for adults. But films exhibiting a child as a protagonist appeals as much to the universal spectators. Hawaa Hawaai works big time with grownups as much as with kids. This inspiring drama brings to life an underprivileged boy's daring dream to become a champion in-line skater, and the faith placed in him by an unlikely teacher and a motley group of friends.

    After the tragic demise of his father, played by the formidable Makarand Deshpande, Arjun Harishchandra Waghmare (Partho Gupte) is forced to move from the impoverished Yavatmal district in Maharashtra to Mumbai only to log his way to work at a run-down tea stall in the searing heat of the sun to feed his family of six with his eyes droopy as the night sets in. One night, he discovers a hidden world of in-line skating through coach Aniket 'Lucky' Bhargava (Saqib Saleem), who mentors kids who're aspirant skaters. While Arjun starts nursing the dream to learn skating under Lucky, his four friends, all working kids -- a ragpicker, a gajra seller, a factory worker and a mechanic -- get together to make his dream come true by putting together a working skate out of scrap & christen it as 'Hawaa Hawaai'. How Arjun's dreams transform into reality under the deft guidance of Lucky, form the apogee of this endearing story that's full of hope and aspiration!

    Amole Gupte's story is a tribute to people who dare to dream alongside asking worrying questions about how society flatly and methodically separates rich kids from the poor ones. Gupte peeps into the psyche of a street urchin by creating a poignant and piercing portrait of childhood. His ability to draw natural performances from the kids warrants ovation! His Arjun tugs at your heartstrings while trying to live his dream. The real achievement of Gupte as a director lies in showing Arjun's attainable dreams without being preachy or over-sentimental with soul-lifting background score (Hitesh Sonik) aggrandizing the effect consummately. Hitesh Sonik is another hero of the film with his songs staying true to the film's spirit. The story is never meant to gain sympathy and so, the screenplay takes time to build the momentum by allowing Arjun's dream to grow on its own volition until his yearnings procure wings to achieve his dreams. In a scene, when the ragpicker rolls down a heap of garbage and helps his friends look for scrap to build make-do skates for Arjun, Amole Gupte's suggestive visual poetry through the actions of the kids is weaved with mastery. While the first half primarily focuses on friendship and makes us extremely sentient of our passiveness to kids' issues, the second half delves into the relationship between Arjun with his coach and Arjun with his dreams. The stupendous culmination where the director intercuts scenes from the boy's past with the present race on roller skates, makes your heart go all out for Arjun. In a heart-warming scene of sorts when Arjun goes home after getting scolded by Lucky, he sobs silently stuffing cloth pieces in his mouth so that his mother, sleeping right beside him, does not know that her responsible son is filling himself with pressure and self-disappointment. When Lucky realises that even if Arjun wins the competition, he will still have to work at the tea stall, his helplessness creates a lump in your throat.

    Let me warn you that clocking on the dot at 120 minutes, Hawaa Hawaai is slow. In places, the story seems stretched and also in some parts the plot jumps suddenly (editor: Deepa Bhatia). The entire episode of Arjun-admitted-in-hospital just add length to the film and the scenes of Lucky with his NRI brother (Anuj Sachdeva) are not gripping at all. Some of the cinematic liberties have also been taken, yet there's so much goodness, warmth and honesty in Gupte's intentions that it's impossible to not have the viewers heart melt!

    Uninhibited, spontaneous and lovable, Partho Gupte rises above the script, makes you believe in your dreams and you're voluntarily drawn to his side. He has the sort of screen-presence our A-listers would be jealous of! Saqib Saleem's versatility is explicit. His perseverance in portraying Lucky proves he's one of the brightest talents around. Long way to go man! The kids are revelation indeed! Salman Chhote Khan (Bhura), Ashfaque Bismillah Khan (Gochi), Maaman Memon (Abdul) and Thirupathi Kushnapelli (Bindaas Murugan) are winsome and pitch in amazing performances. Bravo! The supporting cast delivers remarkable performances as well. Makrand Deshpande, Bugs Bhargava, Soumita Hattangadi, Pragya Yadav, Anuj Sachdeva, and Divya Jagdale are commendable in brief appearances. Sanjay Dadich, Neha Joshi, Razzak Khan and Suman Arjun Mahaskar are exceptional exhibiting the right emotion at every cue.

    Hawaa Hawaai is a heart-warmer, has a touch of innocence that wraps itself securely around you, stays with you long after the film is over and leaves you feeling very rewarded. Don't miss this rich and nuanced soul curry for both, the young and adult heart. Go, live your dream!

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