The character of Bandev (Rana Daggubati) is loosely inspired by the real-life forest man, Jadav Payeng, who is known for planting more than one lakh trees at Majauli, an Island near Assam.
Haathi Mere Saathi’s lead character Bandev (Rana Daggubati) is loosely inspired by the real-life forest man, Jadav Payeng, who is known for planting more than one lakh trees at Majauli, an Island near Assam. The film talks about the relationship between a man and wild animals of the forest land. It also features Zoya Hussain, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Pulkit Samrat in pivotal roles.
Haathi Mere Saathi begins with a mesmerising landscape. A dense forest covered with huge green trees. Veerabharathi (Daggubati), who is fondly known as Bandev, has been following the legacy of his grandfather of saving the forest and animals since childhood. His look and body language are apt and really convincing for a man, who has been living in the wild since birth. His communication with birds and animals looks adorable and unreal. Meanwhile, the obvious happens and humans from the outside world are seen invading the wild with big bulldozers and other mechanical equipment, which was a sudden change in the story. It looked a little early in a story where the audience was still exploring the wild. In another scene, the movie also introduced the naxalites of the place, however, their motives weren’t clear at first.
The human invasion, for an urban project by one of the corrupt ministers, made Bandev go to the city and fight a legal battle to save the wild. While whatever happened next was not expected from this highly-anticipated film as it was too obvious. Bandev gets trapped in a courtroom drama and ends up in jail for several months, which made it convenient for the evil people to complete their task in the jungle.
Zoya looked quite perfect in the role of Aravi, a naxalite, while Pulkit looked as if he was struggling a lot to portray the character of a carefree mahout.
A bulk of obvious scenes can be seen in the film. A journalist, who wants to speak and reveal the truth, gets threatened by the politician. A group of naxalites, who were fighting for God knows what, seemed quite unorganised. The film craved a great fight between the villagers living near the forest and the invaders from the city, something that happened in James Cameron’s 2009 film Avatar.
The evil politician and his followers can be seen phrasing lame dialogues. Anant Mahadevan as the corrupt Mantri turned the mastermind villain wasn’t convincing enough in his role. Some of the scenes screamed needless, which includes crime against women, mass Naxalite encounters and a forceful attempt of putting a love story in the midst of a serious issue.
Meanwhile, the film, which has been shot in the forests of Kerala to depict the story of Chattisgarh, has been successful in capturing the beauty of the wild.
The Prabhu Solomon directorial film gives the message of ‘save the wild’ in a rather obvious way. The movie demands much more action and less political drama. However, the die-hard Rana fans won’t be disappointed as the actor has done a tremendous job playing Bandev in this loosely executed film.