Actor Rana Daggubati, who will soon be seen in Haathi Mere Saathi, has said that his forthcoming film mirrors the realities of the society.
“We are not trying to give any social message through this film, but it mirrors society. This (human encroachment) is happening in many parts of the country and in many parts of the world. Everywhere there is an elephant corridor and there is urbanization. Obviously there are cities that grow and break their (animals) natural habitat, so a sense of co-existence is what Bandev (his character’s name) teaches you in the film,” Rana said at the poster and teaser launch of the film. Also present at the do were co-actors Zoya Hussain, Shriya Pilgaonkar and the film’s director, Prabhu Soloman.
Talking about recent happenings around the world like wildfires in the Amazon rainforest and bushfires in Australia, Rana said, “As filmmakers or as artists, we have the tool to voice out certain things. To voice out means to influence people and to influence them in the most entertaining way. I remember, at least 10-15 years ago the campaign about saving the tigers had begun, and films, documentaries have been made. Ten years later, we stand with the bigger tiger population than we had 10 years ago, so you know that a man can change but someone has to come forward and take that first step. I think as filmmakers it was our first tool to give back to the environment, tell a very engaging and entertaining story, which can influence you all to do things.”
In the film, conflict arises when a corporate giant threatens to destroy the jungle and the eco-system of elephants, and the hero — a son of the soil and protector of the forest — rises to protect his home, the forest.
Haathi Mere Saathi was originally the title of a Rajesh Khanna-Tanuja superhit that released in 1971. On the old classic, Rana commented, “It’s really about animals and men being friends, and I think his (Rajesh Khanna) film was a tribute to that too.”
Haathi Mere Saathi also stars Pulkit Samrat along with Rana in the Hindi version. The film is simultaneously being shot in Hindi, Telugu, and Tamil, with a different cast across languages, and is slated to release on April 2.