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Tabu is the sole saving grace of 'Hawa'
Anjum N |
July 04, 2003 20:13 IST
"I can't understand what's happening," the doctor tells Tabu when she discusses her problem with him, midway through the film.
"I can't understand it either," she replies emotionally.
"We can't understand your film," screamed an irritated, impatient voice in the audience at the first day first show of Guddu Dhanoa's Hawa at a Mumbai theatre.
The laughter and whistles that followed the statement summed up the audience's reaction to the horror flick.
The film's hoardings, which show a seemingly naked Tabu screaming against the tagline 'Sexual Violence', had raised expectations that Hawa would be a titillating film. But the sighs, groans, and restless shuffling of the predominantly male audience in the half-empty auditorium showed that their expectations had been dashed.
Not that the film does not fall into the 'titillating' category. But, while trying to imitate the crowd-pulling tactics of films like Shashilal Nair's Ek Chhotisi Love Story (Manisha Koirala) and Govind Menon's Khwahish (Mallika Sherawat, Himanshu Malik), the film fails to provide enough flesh or fright.
Heavily 'inspired' by Sidney Furie's 1982 horror film The Entity (Barbara Hershey, Ron Silver), Hawa begins with a divorcee (Tabu) moving into her new bungalow in Manali with her younger brother (television actor Imran Khan), two daughters, and a dog.
The weather here isn't too kind. Thunderstorms hit the area and lightning strikes next to her compound. Soon Tabu, her brother, and his faithful dog start hearing and seeing 'airy' things. In no time, the dog is possessed, goes missing, and dies after he returns.
The invisible spirit soon takes a fancy to Tabu and rapes her one night. She cannot share what has happened with her kids and brother. When her house is attacked again, she rushes to the house of her friend Pooja (television actress Grusha Kapoor). But Pooja's husband (Vishwajeet Pradhan) does not want them there, forcing Tabu to return home.
On Pooja's advice, Tabu meets a doctor (Shahbaz Khan), who does not believe she is being raped by an invisible ghost. He thinks she is imagining things because she is a divorcee. She walks out of his dispensary.
Soon, Tabu is raped again and again and yet again. When she goes back to the doctor (why she has to go back to him so often is never explained), he believes her injuries are real, but still feels she has a case of split personality.
He consults a psychiatrist-exorcist (Mukesh Tiwari) who he hopes will solve Tabu's problem.
Some special effects, irritating dialogues, and much unnecessary blood and gore later, Tabu does herself, and the audience, a favour by bringing the film to an end.
The film has no songs. That was a good idea for a fast-paced film like Ram Gopal Varma's Bhoot. I don't know whether it works in a slow, unentertaining film like Hawa.
The background score and camerawork try too hard to frighten. I'm afraid that does not work.
Special effects are good in certain scenes -- especially towards the film's latter half -- and make one sit up and take note. They are better than those in Vikram Bhatt's Raaz, though the film itself doesn't match up to Raaz.
After the failure of 23 March 1931: Shaheed last year, Guddu Dhanoa must have hoped Hawa would bring him some success, ahead of his much-delayed Jaal: The Trap (Sunny Deol, Tabu), releasing July 18. He must start looking ahead.
Among the cast, Grusha Kapoor, Vishwajeet Pradhan and Shahbaz Khan are bearable.
Mukesh Tiwari is impressive, but his dialogues are confusing. First, he tells Tabu she will have to fight the invisible spirit herself; then he assures her he will finish off the spirit; almost immediately afterwards, he appeals to her to end her tormentor.
All Imran Khan has to do in the film is yell 'Tramp!' (his dog's name). He does that so loudly that one is hardly surprised when the dog attacks him.
If you are alert enough, you could catch glimpses of Amit Behl as Tabu's husband and Avtar Gill as her father.
Tabu is the only saving grace in the film. As the sexually exploited mother of two, she brings much-needed vulnerability and helplessness to her character.
When she goes on a rampage after being raped for the nth time by the invisible entity, she looks menacing and pitiful at the same time.
It's rather sad that all her effort has been wasted in a movie like Hawa.
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Cast: Tabu, Shahbaz Khan, Mukesh Tiwari, Imran Khan, Grusha Kapoor, Vishwajeet Pradhan, Amit Behl, Avtar Gill
Director: Guddu Dhanoa
Producers: Guddu Dhanoa, Santosh Dhanoa
Story-Screenplay: Sutanu Gupta
Cinematography: S Natu