Friday, January 21, 2011

Peepli Live - Anusha Rizvi

Was a decent watch. I think the decks were loaded against it because I'd heard and read so much about it, that I had too many preconceived notions .. At any rate, the first one third of the movie was spent getting rid of the preconceived notions, and then thinking afresh about what the movie is all about.

A farmer finds himself in the middle of a media circus, and an unwitting pawn in the political battle ongoing at various levels, after he blurts out his intention to 'commit suicide'. The blurting having been well mechanised by other factors. There's virtually no story as such, just a coverage of the circus.

Although the whole thing is ludicrous, but then I find all of prime time news ludicrous anyway. I've found it ludicrous ever since i saw all the channels milling around a village for ages, covering live the little boy who fell down a hole. That was pretty much the watershed moment for me, as I remember flipping 8 news channels in a row, and not a single one of them showing anything except a big crowd milling around nowhere, doing nothing.

Of course subsequent high - profile 'stories' made me think of all the things that peepli live takes pot -shots at. The stupid questions to tangential people, the opinion polls, the sensationalism, the extra-polation of every action,  And the movie makes you laugh at the circus. But beyond that there are no answers.. this is the world we live in. For those who say that the movie is a "satire", I'd say its not. Its actually a documenary. Show me one part of it which seems unrealistic, and I'll show you 10 new stories which have done just that and more.

As a movie, its good, but not brilliant. I'm just surprised that this was an Aamir Khan production, usually he's smart enough to add the populism that these things need ( think lagaan, mangal pandey, rdb etc) . This one doesn't actually prettify much. I guess that explains why Anusha and Aamir might not be working again together. I'm with Anusha on that one, my love affair with Aamir is long over.

2 comments:

harjot said...

No review of this movie is complete without the mention of ammaji , the bedridden mom of Natha. Really enjoyed her constant sparring with Natha's wife. Her rural wit and earthy oneliners were really enjoyable.

Tess said...

@Harjot - yep, loved both ammaji and his wife :)