It is official. If there is anyone who can work with children in this part of the world it has to be one Amole Gupte. And if it is anyone who can write stories that will single handedly double the turnover of organizations who manufacture tissue paper it has to be one Amole Gupte.
3 years after this 2nd movie, Stanley Ka Dabba, Amole Gupte is back. This time with a bunch of new faces and a familiar face that we saw in 2011. The crack team has Ashfaque Khan, Tirupathi Krishnapelli, Maaman Memon, Salman Khan and of course Partho Gupte who won our hearts as Stanley.
Gupte continues to dabble with children who come from an underprivileged segment of society. This time, the setting is, what was till sometime back, Asia’s largest slum. An impoverished family led by the mother Taramati (Neha Joshi) has moved to Mumbai after the death of the father Harishchandra (Makarand Deshpande).
Taramati works as a maid to make ends meet. In the school holidays, to make the extra buck, the son, Arjun Harishchandra Waghmare (Partho Gupte), is forced to work for a princely sum of `45 per day at a tea stall in Bandra Kurla Complex. Arjun is rechristened as Raju because his name is long enough to give a local train an inferiority complex.
Raju’s life takes a massive turn when he first sees Lucky (Saqib Saleem) conducting his daily Roller Blading class at the same parking lot where the tea stall is located. He is fascinated with the concept that to him is the equivalent of flying, ergo – Hawaa Hawaai. Enter Gochi (Ashfaque), Murugan (Tirupathi), Abdul (Memon) and Bhura (Salman) who decide to build his Hawaa Hawaai shoes with junk. How cool is that!!!!
Hawaa Hawaai is a story of hope and inspiration. It is a story that will definitely make your heart swell with pride and your eyes shed a tear. It is a story that teaches you the virtues of hard work, dedication and commitment. It is a story that you and most importantly your children must see because it could well rub off on them. Of course, you have to be prepared to buy Roller Blades also after they watch it.
The movie has some great performances from the kids who are all outstanding – and those who are familiar with my views would know that I am not too kind to kids just because they are kids. This time around, they are actually super confident and natural in front of the camera – a trait that is not too common.
Saqib Saleem is quickly turning into one of my favourite actors in Bollywood. He is a tad over the top at times but he brings to the screen an energy and enthusiasm that very few do. He was superb in Bombay Talkies last year and he carries the same form into Hawaa Hawaai. The support cast let by Neha Joshi is also equally good.
A statutory warning before I close this review – Ensure you are armed with a handkerchief or two and maybe a packet of tissues if you are easily overwhelmed. I know I shed a tear or two. It is a wonderful movie. And don’t forget to take your kids along. If you can pick a few kids off the street and get them to watch the movie it would give them a lot of hope and happiness. 7.5 on 10. Don’t miss it.
Watch the trailer on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8WEqUvoJw4