Off Meghna Naidu goes in search of lust and adventure on the streets of Dubai where she conveniently runs into ramp-walker Tarun Arora who offers her medicine for a scratched knee and then antidote for her other wound -- boredom because of a workaholic husband.
With dumb and dumber both in her bed now, Meghna has nowhere to go except down.
Delineating the lustful downfall of a bored housewife, "Hawas" falls to its knees and stays there cringing and moaning for attention. Alas, the hot subject and the promise of a dirty picture-show fall as flat as they did in the other recent films like "Oops" and "Tum".
The problem with this salacious stab at the theme of adultery is so deep-rooted that you don't know whether to laugh or cry, as director Karan Razdan attempts to frame the housewife as a wanton lust seeker and victim. In both capacities, Meghna fails miserably.
As for her two amorous interests, what were the film's makers thinking while signing them on? It's hard to say anything that isn't unkind or about the male stars.
Shawar Ali as the wronged husband looks scruffy, gawky and plainly unfit for stardom. As for Tarun Arora, if you've seen Olivier Martinez seduce Diane Lane in Adriane Lyne's "Unfaithful", you'll perhaps forgive Tarun's performance as a grotesque parody of the original.
For those who haven't seen the original, there's news.
"Hawas" copies not just the basic idea but also individual sequences, including that notorious chunk of cheesy voyeurism where the adulterous wife, while in a café with her friends, takes a break from coffee for a bit of raunchy sex with her toy-boy in the loo.
While Diane Lane and Martinez looked ravishing doing their raunchy ride, Meghna and Tarun behave as though they're locked together on a treadmill that's gone amok.
A mockery of every aesthetic rule in the book of filmmaking, "Hawas" stuns you senseless with its absurdities. Too clumsy to be taken seriously as a study of female infidelity and too puny to qualify as porn, "Hawas" is nothing but an unintended joke packaged in a flavourless sleaziness.
The film leaves you with a bad taste, like chewing gum that's been left in the mouth for too long. Apart from the three main players in the pathetic passion play not a single character is developed in the plot.
Once the lover is eliminated by the husband - exactly like Richard Gere did in the original - the director puts his leading lady in a black sari to do a full-blown martyr's act.
Did she enjoy the purple nights with the assassinated lover-boy? Of course not! Nice Indian housewives don't even think about such things!
"Hawas" is a nightmare. Do yourself a big favour. Watch Meghna Naidu in the "Kaliyon ka chaman" music video remix. And then watch Diane Lane in "Unfaithful". And please save yourself the trouble of watching the re-mix queen getting mixed up with a subject that she, and her director, are incapable of handling.