Movie Review: Peepli Live – An Experience to Cherish

Movie Review: Peepli Live – An Experience to Cherish

One does not have to see that when you see an Aamir Khan film, you will experience top quality entertainment with lots to go home and introspect on.  He did it in Lagaan, Taare Zameen Par, Rang De Basanti and 3 Idiots to name a few. Peepli Live is the fourth movie from Aamir Khan Productions that has already belted out three major block-busters, Lagaan, Taare Zameen Par and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. Let us know see how Peepli Live scores. No surprises, this one is a good little film as well.

If you take the concept of a movie made on farmers’ suicides, you would associate it with gloom, despair and a thought-provoking tone. But you see none of this in Anusha Rizvi directed Peepli Live.  This in fact, is a tongue-in-cheek film that takes the issue of the farmers’ suicides on a lighter note. At the same time, it royally takes on the manipulative tactics of the politicians and the TRP hungry electronic media, albeit on a lighter note. The touch is brilliant; the combination of humor with a realistic touch makes it a winning combination.  Very less movies in India have the satirical touch in them, Peepli Live is one of the few in this category.

Story of PeeplI Live:

Natha [Omkar Das Manikpuri], a poor farmer from Peepli village in rural India is on the verge of losing his land because he is not able to pay the government loan.  There is a popular belief that the government’s program has the  provision of giving financial aid to indebted farmers who have committed suicides. Natha obviously chooses to die.  His brother Raghubir Yadav is fine with it and encourages Natha’s decision.

Natha however has c hosen the timing that is right for politicians as elections are around the corner.  The political leaders, bureaucrats and always-on-the-alert media come flying down the high skies to get a piece of the action and use it to their advantage.  There is confusion in the family, while Natha’ mother (Farrukh Jaffer) screams at Natha’s wife (Shalini Vatsal), his son is pleased with his father’s impending suicide, in the hope of getting the money that he can use to become a police inspector.  It is a mad-ride and you will have a hearty time going through Natha’s turmoil.

What is good about Peepli Live:

Peepli Live does not get preachy or offer solution to the issue. It just shows things as they are and makes you come with your own opinions.  The movie’s strong point likes in its script and the good thing is that it has been well executed as well.  The wit and entertainment factor is there in the movie throughout.

Aamir Khan shows once again one simple thing: if you tell a story well, you will find a lot of takers.  The best thing that we found in the movie, is the freshness of the film, a movie like this has not been told before.  The climax is also quite complimenting to the way the film has been built up. In short,  the director Anusha Rizvi has done a superb job.

The music is rustic and lively, drifting from the dhinchak tunes of these days to the earthy folk music.  Mehangayee Daayan is now the anthem of the nation, you hear it everywhere in the radios, music channels and even news channels. So you are actually looking forward to the song and when it comes, you just enjoy every bit of it. The dialogues are funny and colorful, peppered with expletives, without being forced.

What is not so good about Peepli Live:

This is one film where you need to be really watchful about finding faults. As such there are no glaring ones, except for the fact that the tempo slows down post interval but picks up in twenty minutes.

Performances in Peepli Live:

Peepli Live scores a huge six on performances. Om Shankar Manipuri is bang-on as Natha. Raghubir Yadav is superb as the vile brother, Malaika Shenoy as the TV reporter is class apart.  Shalini Vatsa, who plays Natha’s wife in the film, has done a brilliant job.  Farrukh Jaffer as Natha’s mother screams and we love her for that. The two journalists Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vishal Sharma, who play Rakesh and Kumar Deepak respectively are out to get their goats, and perform well. Ah, did we forget to say that Naseeruddin Shah, as the manipulative, cunning politician does an absolutely impressive job.  The other character actors in the film are  also believable.

To sum up:

Peepli Live is a wonderful experience of a movie. Yes, initially the brand value of Aamir Khan will have people coming in to the theaters but soon, the content of the movie is sure to make the movie stand on its own.

Rating: **** (Very Good)

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