Sunday, March 27, 2016

HATARI : My Favorite Wildlife Movie

The Evergreen Wildlife Classic Film
Movie Memories 

When I was a small boy  in the early 1960 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  because our threshold of happiness was so low  that 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 which was then located near today’s Saras Baug  a ride in the toy-train Phulrani  unrestrained playing with carefree abandon on the swings, see-saws and slides in adjoining park – eating a yummy bhel made by the hugely bearded Kalpana Bhelwala on Parvati Chowk on Tilak Road  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 all the way to Pune Camp via Laxmi Road 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 Cinema. 

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 - a few years ago  when I chanced upon a DVD of Hatari  I immediately brought it home  and I 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. 

Once 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 and authentic – real animals, giraffes, leopards, elephants  and many others  in their pristine glory and natural surroundings  like you have 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 John Wayne 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  interesting happenings and gripping action  which we do not see nowadays  in modern adventure films  which often overtax the viewer’s senses  by having 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 
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