Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 11th, 2007
Theatrical Release Dates: India, 2003
Director: Guddu Dhanoa
Cast: Tabu, Shahbaaz Khan, Mukesh Tiwari, Imran Khan, Grusha Kapoor, Vishwajeet Pradhan, Amit Behl, Suresh Chatwal
DVD released: 2006
Approximate running time: 128 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
DVD Release: Eros Entertainment
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.99
Sanjana (Tabu) recently separated from her abusive husband moves into a remote villa with her children. Immediately strange things start to occur after their arrival and with no where else to go they are forced to stay in the haunted villa. Is there a supernatural force causing bad things to happen to Sanjana and her family or is someone trying to give Sanjana a nervous breakdown?
Hawa like many Bollywood movies are influenced by successful Hollywood cinema. Hawa main influence is Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist. They film also borrows its opening directly from the Stanley Kubrick film The Shining and some of the films score is a direct lift from The Shining’s score. Despite these obvious influences Hawa still manages to inject plenty of new ideas that are more regional based.
Guddu Dhanoa direction feels forced and at times over stylized. The FX work in this film is well done and some of the better I have seen in a non-Hollywood film. Even though the bulk of the film is horror related the over tone of the film and its subject matter is more adult oriented then most horror films. One scene in particular stands out and that is when the character of Sanjana is raped by a ghost/unseen assailant. This scene is surprisingly erotic and not as brutal as one would expect while watching a rape scene. Hawa also features one of the most shocking shower scene sequences to grace any film since Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.
The acting is average at best as most of the leads are more then adequate. The two child actors especially the one that plays the older daughter she quickly gets on your nerves. The only real solid performances are that of Tabu as Sanjana and Grusha Kapoor in her limited role as Sanjana’s friend Pooja. There is no musical numbers in this film and at just over two hours it feels a tad long as were are tortured one to many times by another supernatural attack.
Hawa is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The image is sharp and colorful and free of any print damage. Overall outside of some minor edge enhancement this transfer looks really good.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Hindi. Music, effects and dialog sound evenly balanced. Sound effects and music sound full as every speaker is used to the fullest. Removable English subtitles have been included that are easy to read and follow.
The only extras to speak of for this release are trailers/previews for other Eros Entertainment releases. The DVD is features forced previews which play before the main menu is displayed. Most players will let you pass these previews by pressing the forward button. Also one minor complaint about the previews is that they are all in Hindi only and no English subtitles have been included.
Hawa is an average supernatural horror film that has some really good moments that almost make you overlook the rest of its flaws. Hawa like most Eros Entertainment DVD releases lacks in extras and comes with a solid audio//video presentation.