Rating: 2.5/5 stars (Two-and-a-Half Stars)
Voice cast: Govinda, Akshaye Khanna, Boman Irani, Urmila Matondkar, Suniel Shetty and Swini Khara
What’s Good: The humour; the dialogues; the very apt voice casting.
What’s Bad: The unnecessary songs; the forced melodrama; the hurried climax.
Loo Break: None.
Watch or Not?: Watch Delhi Safari some really funny dialogues and a change from the regular mythological animation.
Earlier in August, a satire site had posted an article about the state of the animation industry in India which said, “If I have to watch one more show reel filled with baby elephants, round-eyed tiger cubs or plucky street urchins, I’m going to slit my own wrists.” Unfortunately, Delhi Safari isn’t exactly an exception to the rule, but it’s not exactly slit-your-wrist material either.
Threatened in their own habitat after the death of the leopard Sultan (Suniel Shetty), the animals in Sanjay Gandhi National Park decide to migrate. But Sultan’s young son, Yuvi (Swini Khara) grapples at one last chance to save his home. The plan is a bit far fetched: they want to reach Delhi and voice their grievances to the Parliament. For this he brings together to a makeshift group of animals from the forest: Bagga the Bear (Boman Irani), Bajrangi the monkey (Govinda), Sultan’s widow Begum (Urmila Matondkar). But none of the animals can speak for the humans to understand their predicament. So they coerce the parrot Alex (Akshaye Khanna) into joining them.
Bajrangi’s DNA might be close to that of humans, but the mischevious monkey wants to ensure that the animals do not talk to humans. If that isn’t enough, the monkey and the parrot get on each others’ nerves at every possible chance. And Alex is with them more out of force than choice and is just biding his time to escape.
What happens to this strange Delhi Safari?
Delhi Safari Review: Script Analysis
There’s nothing special about the story or the screenplay by Nikhil Advani, Girish Dhamija and Suresh Nair. It’s Milap Zaveri and Girish Dhamija’s dialogues that do the trick mostly. The exchanges between Alex and Bajrangi are a riot. In fact, it’s Alex and Bajrangi’s characters that stand out in the film.
Otherwise the script and story is quite a yawn. There’s not really much of a “safari” in the movie with the only memorable (and funny) spot being the one in Rajasthan with the Marwadi flamingoes/bustards doing a synchronized dance/garba! The climax is rushed while some of the scenes of the elder Sultan are shameless rip-offs of Disney’s The Lion King. The characters remind you of Kipling’s The Jungle Book too.
Delhi Safari Review: Voice Artists, Direction, Music & Technical Aspects
Govinda (as Bajrangi) and Akshaye Khanna (as Alex) are no doubt the stars here. Their bickering and their dialogue delivery is really the winner. Boman Irani (as Bagga), Urmila Matondkar (as Begum), Suniel Shetty (as Sultan) and Swini Khara (as Yuvraj) are alright.
Director Nikhil Advani has done a good job with the film but he should have added more of humour and less of the forced melodrama. Most of the songs are quite unnecessary; only the one where the flamingoes/bustards burst out dancing and singing in Marwari looks nice. The animation is alright, except that Alex seems to have fur rather than feathers. The 3D is a waste. Aarif Sheikh’s editing is good. Songs by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy are forgettable; Tubby-Parik’s background score is ordinary.
Delhi Safari Review: The Last Word
Delhi Safari is a welcome change from the regular mythology/modern-take-on-mythology. Though it may not match up to international standards, the humour element and Alex-Bajrangi make it an enjoyable watch.
Delhi Safari Trailer
Delhi Safari released on 19th October, 2012.
Share with us your experience of watching Delhi Safari.