I must admit first of all that a few minutes into Delhi Safari, I started losing interest and my ability to stay awake for too long. I, however, managed to stay awake all the way through using quite a bit of my will power in the process.
Now, Delhi Safari is not just an outright bad movie by any stretch of imagination. It is just that we may be the biggest suppliers for animation world over but when it comes to creating animation movies ourselves, we fall woefully short. I wonder why?
Delhi Safari tracks the story of a bunch of animals who stay in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Borivili, Mumbai. Thankfully, the animals are the same ones that are found around this area. A family of leopards – Sultan (Suniel Shetty), Begum (Urmila Matondkar) and their cub Yuvraj (Swini Khara).
Then there is the laid back and sensible Bagga the Bear (Boman Irani). But the chief mischief maker and the grey character is the monkey – Bajrangi (Govinda) who harbours hopes of ruling the jungle because as per him – the monkeys used to rule the world much before man came in.
Trouble starts brewing when rampant construction starts moving into the park and in the bargain, Sultan gets killed. The rest of the animals, pushed by Yuvraj’s innocence and confidence decide to take their voices all the way to Delhi – to the powers that be. Accompanying them is Alex (Akshaye Khanna), a parrot – who is the only animal who can speak the language that us humans understand.
Now, here was a superb opportunity to pivot India into the fascinating world of animation. There was a story that had a strong social angle. There were characters which were created quite well and true to the local landscape. The voice overs were to be done by a bunch of really talented people – Govinda, Boman Irani, Sanjay Mishra, Saurabh Shukla and even Prem Chopra were really good with their voices.
But there were the tacky dialogues and weak one liners that fall flat. And most importantly, when you feel that the paws of the animals don’t look like they are touching the ground – you feel the disappointment. Why not spend that extra bit of money to get the end product finished well. Always the case with Indian animation – penny wise, pound moronic – not just foolish. 5 on 10. Watch on TV if ever it comes up there.
Watch the trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMem1yAmAQw