Hawaa Hawaai: Film Review – The perfect blend of cynicism and optimism

After the success of 2011’s Stanley ka Dabba, Amole Gupte has once again teamed up with his son, Partho Gupte, for Hawaa Hawaai.

Partho plays Arjun Harishchandra Waghmare, a young boy from a poor family. When his father passes away, Arjun takes up a job at a tea stall, to help his mother out. While working there, he discovers a skating class, taught by Aniket "Lucky" Bhargava (Saqib Saleem).

Arjun, who observes the class, yearns to learn skating too. However, the pair of skates is too expensive for his family to afford. Arjun and his four friends set out to build their own pair of skates from pieces of scrap. He begins practicing with the help of this pair, which they call hawaa hawaai, even getting Lucky to notice him. Lucky starts training him to go onto the district championship. However, the journey to the championship is filled with more obstacles than anyone could imagine.

The highlight of Hawaa Hawaai is, without a doubt, the acting. Each and every member of the cast is noteworthy in their respective roles. Saqib Saleem is excellent in his portrayal of Lucky, the coach determined to make Arjun a champion. Partho Gupte is also outstanding as the young Arjun. However, the real stars of the film are the child stars who play Arjun’s friend. The four children – Maaman Memon, Tirupati Krushnapalli, Salman Chhote Khan and Ashfaque Khan – are lovable and endearing. They represent the millions of people who try to do their best inspite of their condition. And they do it really well.

Another notable aspect of the film is the cinematography. Every scene in Hawaa Hawaai is beautifully-shot. The clever camera cuts, the sets and the locations highlight the stark contrast between the life of children like Arjun and the lives of other children in the city.

Though Hawaa Hawaai has the performances, script and soundtrack going for it, it still misses the mark.

The movie, which starts off on a high note, quickly loses momentum. The first-half of the film is fast-paced and entertaining. However, the second-half becomes slow and loses all its fizz. Additionally, the second-half of the film starts to feel predictable. This is especially disappointing after the stellar first-half. Inspite of this, Hawaa Hawaai is still a wonderful film that explores social inequalities and human emotions.

Why should you watch this film?
Hawaa Hawaai is the ideal combination of comedy and drama. The movie tackles serious topics in a light-hearted manner. It also has good music and brilliant acting, making it the perfect package. 

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