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Peepli [Live] – movie review

The electronic media glorifies a poor farmer's suicide


Peepli Live, movie review

Peepli Live is an experimental film yet a thought provoking satire produced by Aamir Khan – that depicts the story of thousands of debt ridden poor Indian farmers who commit suicide as they are not thick skinned as other wily businessmen or the politicians. Peepli [Live] movie review…

Natha a poor farmer from Peepli village in the heart of rural India is about to lose his plot of land due to an unpaid government loan.

A quick fix to the problem is the very same government’s program that aids the families of indebted farmers who have committed suicide. As a means of survival Farmer Natha can choose to die!!!

Natha’s brother is happy to push him towards this unique ‘honor’ but Natha is reluctant. Local elections are around the corner and what might’ve been another unnoticed event turns into a ‘cause celebré’ with everyone wanting a piece of the action. Political bigwigs, high-ranking bureaucrats, local henchmen and the ever-zealous media descend upon sleepy Peepli to stake their claim.

The question on everyone’s lips – “Will he or Won’t he?” As the mania escalates what will be the fate of Farmer Natha; nobody seems to care how he really feels?
Debutante director Anusha Rizvi’s Peepli Live illustrates the stark reality about state of already burdened farmers in India who easily fall in the debt trap. The poor farmer cannot face disgrace unlike the other crafty breed of people, from debt, the consequent reactions of the media, and the vote-thirsty politicians.

Peepli [Live] portrays the electronic and print media are skillfully portrayed as helping hands, who yet exploit the suicide issue only for their own advantage, for the simple reason – to increase their channel’s viewership.

Specifically credit ought to be given to the entire crew of Peepli [Live] who have done a brilliant job. Omkar Das Manikpuri as the simpleton Natha, Naseeruddin Shah as the seasoned Minister, Raghubir Yadav as Natha’s brother, Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the reporter, and Malaika Shenoy as the Barkha Dutt type TV journalist have performed brilliantly (or we can say – very naturally).

Peepli Live is a nice offbeat film which has fine direction, slick editing which keeps you interested in the proceedings. A film definitely worth a watch.

Unilke the other mainstream Bollywood flicks, Peepli Live has no item number, yet it has a catchy – Mehengai Maar Gayi song which is sung actually by the locals of Badwai Village situated in Madhya Pradesh in the heart of India.

Cast of Peepli Live:
Natha – Omkar Das Manikpuri
Budhia – Raghubir Yadav
Rakesh – Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Dhaniya – Shalini Vatsa
Amma – Farrukh Jaffer
Nandita Malik – Malaika Shenoy
Kumar Deepak – Vishal O. Sharma
Saleem Kidwai (Agriculture Minister) – Naseeruddin Shah

Credits of Peepli Live:
Written & Directed by Anusha Rizvi
Produced by Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao
Co-Producer – Ronnie Screwala
Associate Producers – Zarina Mehta, Deven Khote, Siddharth Kapur
Co-Director & Casting Director – Mahmood Farooqui
Director of Photography – Shanker Raman
Editor – Hemanti Sarkar

Crew of Peepli Live:
Sound Designer – Hari Kumar Pillai
Sound Mixing Engineer – Anup Dev
Production Designer – Suman Roy Mahapatra
Costume Designer – Maxima Basu
Make-up – Vikram Gaikwad
Publicity Designer – Sukanya Ghosh
Background Music Composer – Mathias Duplessy
Song Composers – ‘Des Mera’ by Indian Ocean, Chola Mati Ke’ by Nageen Tanvir (Original Gond Tribal tune of Mandala Dist.M.P.), ‘Sakhi Saiyyan’ – Bhadwai Village Artistes
Lyrics- Sanjeev Sharma, Swanand Kirkire, Gangaram Sakhet, Bhadwai Village Artistes
Line Producer – Alan McAlex
Executive Producer – B. Shrinivas Rao
Peepli Live, movie review

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