The trilingual film released on March 26 in Tamil and Telugu.
Baahubali fame Rana Daggubati’s much-awaited film Haathi Mere Saathi, the Hindi version of the Tamil original Kaadan, is headed for an exclusive direct-to-TV release, followed by the OTT release on Eros Now on September 18. The makers were earlier contemplating a theatrical release but settled for the direct-to-TV release eventually.
Haathi Mere Saathi is penned and helmed by Prabhu Solomon. Rana Daggubati shoulders the film as a true-blue wildlife and nature lover. The narrative is set in the heart of the wilderness, charting Bandev’s (Daggubati) bonding with nature and elephants to spearheading their cause as a ‘faithful protector of the community’. Besides him, the film stars Pulkit Samrat, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Zoya Hussain, and Anant Mahadevan in key roles. Eros Motion Pictures has produced the film.
Talking about the film, Daggubati told Filmibeat that it’s ‘a great story to tell’ and that he feels ‘priviledged’ to be part of a film that ‘sheds light on some serious issues faced by the communities.’ He is also positive about the film’s release, stating that the direct-to-TV release on the popular Hindi cinema channel and then the post-release streaming on Eros Now will reach to a wider audience in India.
Watch the trailer of the film, that dropped on YouTube on March 4.
Director Prabhu Solomon, who made his mark in Tamil cinema with the 2010 Tamil romantic tragedy Mynaa, which won the Best Film at the 58th Filmfare Awards South, is also optimistic about the film. Speaking to Filmibeat, he said that he had a ‘clear vision’ when the germ of the story struck him. “I wanted to put across a germ of thought with the potential to ignite progressive conversations around the cause of protecting elephants and nature,” he said. The Thodari director further described his film as an ‘honest attempt’ of the bond between man and wildlife and ‘how they come together to rescue one another when faced with a problem.’ He praised the cast of the film as ‘passionate’ actors who only added to the vision of the film.
In an earlier interview with The Hindu, Solomon had described Bandev as a ‘grown-up Mowgli’ who is ‘over six feet tall’. Solomon told the daily that 18 elephants featured in the film that was shot in the forests of Thailand. He had to juggle between the challenges of dealing with the changing moods of the animals and the seasons of the forests. It took him three years to make the film. Kaadan or Haathi Mere Saathi, known as Aranya in the Telugu version, marks his first movie in almost five years after Thodari. This is his third film starring elephants in the lead role after the 2012 Kumki and its sequel.
The trilingual film released on March 26 in Tamil and Telugu, after being postponed from April 2, 2020, due to the COVID-19 situation.