From the bond between mahout and elephant to that between dog and human, special friendships between humans and animals have found space on the big screen.

An image from Kumki on the left and an image of actor Rakshit Shetty and a Labrador from 777 CharlieYouTube- Tamil Cinema/ Instagram- Rakshit Shetty
Flix Cinema Monday, September 20, 2021 - 20:50

The friendship between humans and animals has been celebrated since time immemorial. From the bond between mahout and elephant to that between dog and human, these special friendships have found space on the screen, giving rise to heartwarming movies. Here’s a list of movies that capture and represent the unique bond between animals and humans on the big screen.

Kumki: The 2012 film Kumki, is among the few Tamil films that explore the bond between elephant and mahout in detail. Helmed by Prabhu Solomon, the story tracks the relationship between Bomman (played by Vikram Prabhu) and the elephant, Manickam. Though Manickam is not a kumki (elephants used to train or drive away wild elephants), the film tracks what happens when he is thrust with the responsibility of taking down a rogue elephant– Komban, who destroys crops in the area. Filmmaker Solomon Prabhu not only helps the audience gain a better understanding of the fondness and empathy between an elephant and a mahout, but also allows us to take a closer look at the lifestyle of the hill tribe, the film is based on. The film starred Lakshmi Menon as the female lead.  

Several Malayalam films including the 1990 film Gajakesariyogam, where a mahout learns Hindi in order to communicate with an elephant that only understands Hindi, and the 2006 film Aanachandam, which follows the story of Krishna Prasad, a man who is crazy about elephants, also serve as examples of films that depict the unique bond between elephants and mahouts.

Similarly, the 1993 Telugu movie Rajendrudu Gajendrudu too stars an elephant in the lead. In the SV Krishna Reddy directorial, an elephant is set out to avenge the death of his past owner with the help of an unemployed man.  

Naaigal Jaakirathai: Although the 2014 film Naaigal Jaakirathai is based on the trope of a pet dog helping his master, a cop, hunt down his missing wife. The film features entertaining sequences starring the protagonist Karthik (played by Sibiraj) and his pet dog Mani (an adorable German Shepherd). Several scenes including the one where Karthik is strikingly similar to Mani while rolling on the floor highlight the heartwarming relationship between the two. The movie swiftly turns into a thriller, but the scenes with Karthik and Mani are entertaining. Helmed by Shakti Soundar Rajan, the film stars actors Sibiraj, Arundathi and the German Shepherd dog in the lead.  

777 Charlie: The upcoming film 777 Charlie is touted to be the first Kannada film featuring a dog in a full-length role. The film will be exploring the relationship between Dharma, played by Rakshit Shetty and a lovely Labrador named Charlie. With Charlie being the principal focus of the video, the teaser indicates that the Kiranjraj K directorial will be chronicling Charlie’s interesting journey. A song titled ‘Torture’ from the movie underlines the bittersweet relationship between a reluctant (and temporary) pet parent and the dog. 777 Charlie, which is releasing in five languages including Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, and Malayalam, is a movie dog-lovers need to watch. 

ALSO READ: Prithviraj Sukumaran to present Rakshit Shetty’s '777 Charlie' in Malayalam 

 

Naanu Matthu Gunda: Like 777 Charlie, the Kannada film Naanu Matthu Gunda which was released in the year 2020, revolves around an auto driver named Shankara (played by Shivaraj KR Pete) who discovers a lost dog, Gunda. The film explores how his life takes an unpredictable turn after he spends time with the dog and develops a connection with Gunda. The heartwarming film marks comedian Shivaraj's debut as a hero. The film was helmed by director Srinivas Thimmaiah.  

READ: 'Naanu Matthu Gunda': A Kannada film that explores the bond between man and dog 

 

Jimmy Ee Veedinte Aishwaryam: Jancy Vetilakaran, as well as her family, are completely awestruck and so in love with her adorable pet dog, Jimmy. However, the same cannot be said for her husband, who interestingly goes by the same name as her pet dog. Starring actors Mithun Ramesha and Divya Pillai as the lead, the film tracks how the couple resolves their marital conflicts. A significant part of the movie also traces how the dog fills their lives with warmth and love. The Raju Chandra directorial was released in the year 2019. The voice-over for the dog’s character in the film was performed by actor Aju Varghese.  

Interestingly, the voiceover performance of actor Nani for a goldfish in the 2018 Telugu film Awe that Nala (one of the important characters in the film) befriends, is popular among fans. 

ALSO READ: 'Awe' review: Wonderfully bizarre, this film is a daring experiment 

 

Adhugo: The Telugu fantasy comedy film Adhugo focuses on an animated piglet named Bunty. The film tracks how the piglet escapes from ending up in the wrong hands. The Ravi Babu directorial stars actors Nabha Natesh, Rakesh Rachakonda, and Abhishek Varma in pivotal roles. The movie received mixed reviews from critics, but the portrayal of the piglet was adored by fans. 

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