My Favourite Wild-Life Movie
When I was a small boy, in the early 1960s, I lived in Pune on Tilak Road near Madiwale Colony in Sadashiv Peth. Pune was a lovely place and life was good. It was easy to be happy for our threshold of happiness was so low that it simple things filled us with joy – like a morning run up Parvati Hill, a stroll in Talyatla Ganpati Saras Baug Garden, enjoying the frolics of animals in the Peshwe Park Zoo, a ride in the toy-train Phulrani , unrestrained playing with carefree abandon on the swings, see-saws and slides in adjoining park, a yummy bhel made by the hugely bearded Kalpana Bhelwala, a cream-roll or doughnut at Ashok Bakery, Patties, Nankatai and Khari at Hindustan Bakery, Ice Cream at Bua, Kaware and Ganu Shinde – so many things to do – and once in a while, we would bicycle down Camp to partake the inimitable non-veg samosas and tea at Naaz, Chinese at Kamling, Paan at George and enjoy a Hollywood Movie and Ice Cream Soda at West End.
Oh yes, West End – I vividly remember seeing my first ever movie sitting on those inimitable easy chairs and sipping deliciously fizzy ice cream soda in the interval at West End’s famous soda fountain. The name of the movie was HATARI and till today Hatari remains my all time favourite Wild Life Adventure Film.
A man’s first love always has an enduring place in his heart; likewise a man’s first movie remains etched in his memories forever. So when I chanced upon a DVD of Hatari, I immediately brought it home and relived fond memories of my first movie experience, albeit with an improvised home-made ice cream soda.
HATARI is sheer fun – a clean entertaining film which can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from kids to grandparents. It is a spectacular adventure story, fast paced, exciting, thrilling, beautifully filmed on locations with real wildlife amidst exceptionally picturesque scenery, featuring hunting scenes which are simply astonishing. One you start watching Hatari, you are so engrossed that you remain glued to the screen from start to finish.
Hatari, in Swahili, means Danger, and true to its name the movie keeps you enthralled with a sense of mesmerizing danger as you watch the amazing hunting scenes featuring speeding jeeps, stampeding animals and the rugged African terrain. Everything looks real, authentic – real animals, giraffes, leopards, elephants, and many others, in their natural glory and natural surroundings, like you've never seen them before.
Hatari is a simple story of a group of hunters in Africa, led by the inimitable John Wayne, who capture wild animals for zoos. The movie begins with a fantastic scene showing JohnWayne and his team driving speeding jeeps and trucks across the empty, dusty plains, herding dozens of rhinos, trying to lasso one of the most difficult wild animals to catch. It is sheer spine-tingling thrilling entertainment.
Hatari has those rare, pleasant, naturally authentic settings, clear easy-on-the-eye photography, happenings and action which we do not see now-a-days in modern adventure films which often overtax the viewer by too many special effects.
Hatari’s simple plot, the camaraderie, the light romance, the subtle comedy, the delightful music [especially the foot tapping number "Baby Elephant Walk"], the visually enthralling scenery, and the fascinating animals make this film a thoroughly enjoyable viewing experience.
Hatari is a fun movie, pure entertainment, a visual treat with beautiful eye catching landscape, and plenty of thrilling action – the ideal feel-good movie for you to enjoy with your entire family.
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2009
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.