Review - Peepli Live (Albanian, Arabic, Azerbaijani): covers poverty tourism with fervor
Peepli Live is pitch black humor - beginning, middle, and end. This Aamir Khan production obviously laughs at everything in the system. Peepli Live slyly laughs at you and me, the audience who finds such a dark world funny. 'Farmer suicides' is not the only issue that Anshu Rizvi, the writer is referring to. Peepli Live points a finger at things far beyond and the irreparable(?) fault deep down in the crux.
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A 600-seater multiplex hall is filled to capacity for Peepli [Live] a film that has no stars, is about a remote village, and the promo material has made it obvious that one cannot expect any glamor out of it. We know now that the 'we serve masala because that is what the audience demands' days are numbered. fingers crossed Yes, the crowd seemed to be enjoying the film. I understand that 'enjoying' is a rude word to use when you are talking about a film based on others' misfortunes. But it seems only valid, when you see people laughing at dark joke cracked along with the huge roar of laughter every time a cuss word is used.
Once the novelty of seeing everyday talk on screen wares off - the whole-range of Hindi foul language, the young easily-amused boys giggly girls do get involved in the rotten situation that our state is in - at least more involved than one could imagine most of them in reality. Pathos of the central character comes through without him having to speak more than 5-10 lines in all of 100 minutes.
Such subtlety runs through Peepli [Live]and every once in a while reminding you of the moot point it's trying to make. The obvious commentary on the unintelligent coverage of issues by the media, to the absolute ridiculousness of Government yojanas (subsidy/benefit/upliftment programs) is continuously punctuated with references at the level underneath.
It is up to us then, to dig deeper. Going just a skin-deeper there's a ton to see: Contrast between two strong women - one urban, one rural - one empowered and 'master' of her life if not others, the other at the mercy of the feeble men in her life; suicide must not come easy to farmers close to death either; left to the mercy of news-creators a dying farmer's feces and Saif Ali Khan's smooch are competing for headlines - is everything that hunky-dory?; all is not lost for there is a conscientious young bureaucrat/politician/journalist out there. His soul has not on sale, at least not yet; there is more hope because the simpleton will rise and make his own decisions despite the entire world wanting to take advantage of his situation; and on and on and on.
So many things are being said at once - using the lyrics, the music, the backdrop, the props - that in the first five minutes you decide to stop being overwhelmed as you promise yourself another watch to grasp more. This first time I decided to absorb the surface. The performances are so close to reality that it almost feels like a documentary. The focus is on developing and presenting the situation rather than building characters and their arcs. The photography adds to the 'real' milieu by having a home-video feel - with the intentional shakes and jerks.
There are some exaggerations, no doubt. And they make the film a little too slapsticky for my taste and also for the tone of the film. Then again, they are only an extension of what we've seen in real life or read in the papers. The newsy nature and the manner in which the situation rolls out also makes the film predictable.
So, what next? A teeny-weeny bit more than 'nothing'? If even one bureaucrat/politician just scratches his head after watching the film, [Peepli Live] should consider itself successful.
Audience? Hopefully, it won't be mere fashionable to like the film. Hopefully, a few of us will go beyond our 'jobs'. Even if it's not to take on the task of improving a nation, at the very least we can begin and continue to be an audience that demands films out of the ordinary - be they good, bad, or ugly - Peepli [Live]is all three, not in quality but because of its gritty content.
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: None
- Language: Abusive language throughout, as a regular part of dialogue
- Nudity & Sexual content: None
- Concept: The state of affairs in the interiors of our country.
- General Look and Feel: Grim and rugged.
Peepli Live - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Website Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: UTV Motion Pictures, Aamir Khan Productions Pvt Ltd
- Producer: Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao, Ronnie Screwwala
- Director: Anusha Rizvi, Mahmood Farooqui
- Lead Cast: Omkar Das Manikpuri, Raghuvir Yadav, Farukh Jaffer, Shalini Vatsa
- Supporting Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vishal O Sharma, Malaika Shenoy, Sitaram Panchal, Jugal Kishore, Naseeruddin Shah, Parul, Golu, Deven
- Story: Anusha Rizvi
- Screenplay: Anusha Rizvi
- Cinematography: Shankar Raman, Shankar Raman, Maxima Basu
- Editor: Hemanti Sarkar
- Action Choreography: Javed Eijaz, Ejaz Gulab, Javed Karim
- Music Director: Indian Ocean, Bhadwai Musicians, Brij Mandal, Nageen Tanvir, Ram Sampath
- Lyrics: Sanjeev Sharma, Swananda Kirkire, Brij Mandal, Bhadwai Musicians, Noon Meem Rashed, Gangaram Sakhet
- Art Direction: Snigdha Karmade
- Running time: 100 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Albanian, Arabic, Azerbaijani
- Categories: Announcements
- Genres: Action, Adventure, Animation