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LIVE MOVIE REVIEW
by : C. Karthik
Omkar Das Manikpuri, Raghubir Yadav, Shalini
Vatsa, Malaika Shenoy, Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Indian Ocean, Nageen Tanvir, Ram Sampat
Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao
are seen as entertainers by most. Some
feel the necessity to convey a message,
tell the public that movie is not just
about fun but also about a little bit
of education as well. In a world of fantasies
where Supermen and Spidermen are
by all, Peepli wakes you up from your dreams and says
out loud "Welcome to reality". Debutant
director Anusha Rizvi definitely deserves a pat on
the back for taking this subject and getting all the
pieces together in a nonchalant way.
What is Peepli all about? It is about the ever springing
subject of farmer suicide. Ever springing is a slightly
over-dosed word here as it is publicized only during
elections and during other political crisis. Omkar
Das and Raghuveer Yadhav are brothers whose only worry
is to repay an unsettled loan. Fearing that their
land may be auctioned off, they find all ways possible
to get the money. The brothers decide that suicide
is the only option as they can get the mandatory compensation
of 1 lakh from the government.
Natha (Omkar) decides to commit suicide and a local
journalist eavesdrops and covers this in a local newspaper.
This comes to the media's knowledge. The whole event
snowballs further and everyone involved wants to have
a piece of the pie. If the news flashes "Live
suicide coverage", the politicians want to gain
mileage by pulling Natha to their own party circus.
Natha and the family are just spectators in the middle
of the whole circus. The movie matures and hits you
hard when there is a reference to Hori Mahato, the
famished farmer, who digs his own grave.
Nobody could have handled this sensitive subject so
well. It seems that wit and sarcasm are the only way
to expose this shame to the world. Anusha definitely
has us in splits with witty one liners and remarks.
It is hard to accept her as a newcomer as she leaves
her touch in many places in the movie. One scene to
note is the puppet dance which tells us the sorry
state of authorities. Anusha has an eye for perfection,
much like her producer Aamir Khan, and this shows
in her deft handling of the subject, the camera and
is a very thin line between directing a documentary
and a feature film. Anusha has very clearly understood
and has walked the thin line without fuss. You don’t
get to see actors in the movie. Omkar as Natha, his
wife Dhaniya, the Amma, Raghuveer, Rakesh, the journalist,
are all characters in the unfolding story. Even the
blue pump given to Natha by the local government assumes
a role in the movie. Anusha, being a journalist herself,
has made sure that media persons are shown the way
they actually are. Very brilliant handling this. Even
the songs have been neatly used.
Yes, it is about farmer suicide. But it is not as
simple as you read it. It is a national crisis and
it is only because of Aamir Khan, a movie like this
will get attention. Anusha does not try to politicize
the issue nor does she want to preach a message. It
is to make us aware that we are also living in a country
where agriculture is the backbone of our economy.
What will happen if all the farmers migrate to cities
in our country? Do we even know that 80 lakh farmers
have migrated from villages to cities from 1991 to
Overall, Peepli Live is a smartly directed movie which
makes you laugh but hits you hard when you realize
that we are so ignorant about an ugly truth which
may assume bigger proportions in the future.
Verdict: Peepli Live - Your attention please!!!
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