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Villain's Henchman.
Narendra Nath
Mahendra Sandhu
Kanwar Ajit Singh
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(as Priti Sapru)
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1 January 1979 (India)  »

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INR 100,000 (estimated)
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They also have a right to live, don't they ?
5 July 2014 | by (India) – See all my reviews

The story of Habaari is related to the protection of poor wild animals from the merciless and greedy hunters working for the smugglers of skins of wild animals. Though a number of movies were made during the seventies(mainly by Devar Films of M.M.A. Chinnappa Devar) rendering the message of showing kindness to the animals and underscoring their inseparable role in the life of human-beings, Habaari is perhaps unique in the sense that the theme of the movie itself is the protection of wild animals only. Produced by Hitkarn Singh, this movie is a presentation of Pix International.

The story starts with certain areas of the vast jungle in some part of India being declared as national parks by the Govt. of India and an animal-loving researcher being appointed as the incharge of that area for wild life protection. However with the greedy and fearless hunters looming at large, the job of that researcher-cum-government appointed officer is very difficult. He alongwith his wife gets killed in the hands of a dangerous hunter named as Ranbir (Narender Nath) who works for a businessman Shikaarwaala (D.K. Sapru) illegally dealing in animal skins. The team of Ranbir with his hired henchmen and associates now face a new game warden of the area named as Ajeet (Mahendra Sandhu) who is actually the brother-in-law of the killed officer (brother of his wife who got killed with him). Ajeet alongwith his little nephew (Raju Desaai) who has survived in the lethal attack made on his family, now starts taking care of the animals and taking on the hunters after them in the stewardship of Ranbir.

Ajeet comes into contact with Shikaarwaala's daughter Pinky (Preeti Sapru) who was earlier enjoying the killing of the animals and set to marry Ranbir only in due course of time but now starts loving Ajeet, his little nephew and the innocent animals. Coming to know of her love for Ajeet, her greedy father, i.e., Shikaarwaala offers Ajeet to take care of his illegal animal skin business after marrying Pinky. Quite naturally, Ajeet has only to turn down this offer. After some misunderstandings between himself and Pinky, the story finally reaches its predictable Bollywoodish climax with the elimination of Shikaarwaala and Ranbir.

The title - Habaari is a word used for greeting in the language Swahili (exact meaning is asking the concerned person - what's new or how do you do). Shooting of the movie in the jungles of Kenya must be the reason behind keeping this title as Swahili is the national language of Kenya.

The biggest USP and plus point of this movie is its theme only. Wild life and wild animals are to be protected not only from humanitarian viewpoint but also from ecological viewpoint. By cutting the jungles and killing the wild animals, we are bringing the ultimate disaster for the mankind closer and closer. Natural calamities have increased like anything in the recent past due to this reason only. And when we have a right to live, they also have so. We have no business killing them mercilessly for their flesh, skin and the likewise.

Shot in Kenya, the whole movie is a grand visual treat with the scenes studded with views of forestry and wild animals. The movie contains many touching sequences teaching us to love the animals, caring for them and understanding their feelings.

The minus point of this movie is presence of regular Bollywood formulae of romance, comedy and fight with nothing extra-ordinary about any of these. Plus there are many plot-holes in the script. Many things deserve proper explanation. However since the version of the movie seen by me on internet (uploaded through the CD of Ultra) is not complete with several scenes missing, the viewer who is able to watch its complete version may be in a better position to comprehend the script. I fail to understand why the makers of VCD / DVD present the moth eaten versions of the movies instead of their full released versions as I have found this fact in several VCDs / DVDs.

The movie is very interesting though and keep the viewer engrossed despite its predictable conclusion. In fact, the scenes showing the activities of innocent wild animals and their interaction with the hero, the heroine and the child artist are sufficient to keep the audience glued to the screen.

Sapan Jagmohan has prepared good music for the movie with the help of the very touching and high quality lyrics of M.G. Hashmat. Songs like Juda Na Karo Chalti Saansen Jism Se, Dilwaala Jag Mein Diler Banega and Pyaara Safar Pyaara Lage are all heart-conquerors.

Habaari did not do well on the box office which is sad but not surprising because meaningful and purpose Bollywood movies despite their entertainment value, have seldom been able to succeed commercially. One and a half decade back, Sanjay Dutt-Juhi Chawla starrer Safari (1999) also dealt with the issue of preservation of nature and ecological balance but it was also a flop.

Habaari is a highly admirable movie. Protection of environment and wildlife is not just the duty of the various governments but also of all of us. Let's not refrain from it. I wholeheartedly recommend this very interesting movie to all those who are sensitive and have kindness for the innocent animals in their hearts. Like us, the animals also have a right to live. Don't they ?


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