Vibhu Puri’s debut film Hawaizaada, to be released on January 30, has come into the limelight with a paper being presented on the film’s central character at the Indian Science Congress.
The film is a biopic on 19th century Indian scientist Shivkar Bapuji Talpade, who is given credit for building and operating the first unmanned flying machine in the world.
The paper titled ‘Ancient Indian Aviation Technology’ was presented by Anand Bodas, retired principal of a pilot training centre, with Ameya Jadhav, lecturer at Mumbai’s Swami Vivekananda International School and Junior College. It discusses the science involved in Talpade’s experiment.
Starring Ayushmann Khurrana as Talpade, alongside Mithun Chakraborty and Pallavi Sharda, the film has been co-produced by a consortium of four entities, including Reliance Entertainment, Rajesh Banga, Vishal Gurnani and Puri himself. The film has been made at a cost of Rs 18-20 crore. “The release is still three weeks away, so it is yet to make some noise. However, its trailer has received good reviews and the industry is praising it. Hopefully, the discussion at the Indian Science Congress about the theme should give an early marketing push. Currently, the films in focus are PK and Tevar,” said Shaaminder Malik, an independent exhibitor and trade analyst for north India.
Debutante director Puri has clarified in the media that the film is a fictional account on the life of Talpade and his supposed feat of building and flying the first unmanned flying machine. In his opinion, the fact there is debate over whether or not the Indian scientist achieved this feat while India was still a British colony, was an intriguing enough subject for him.
Talpade’s unmanned flying machine, called Marutsakha, is said to have been based on ancient Vedic science and factions of the science fraternity in India claim the flight took place in 1895, around eight years before the historic flight of the Wright Brothers. However, there is debate on the matter and Puri referred to accounts and books written on this while researching for the film.