Thursday, August 19, 2010

Peepli Live

I think I must say just one word about the film...Brilliant!
The movie was like watching a symphony where not one note is in discord. Every character is so well etched. Not one superfluous moment or character in the movie. The vitriolic pen of the writer lashes out against every strata of the society.
In one sentence this movie is about how Budhia played by Raghubir Yadav convinces his younger brother Natha, played by Omkar Das, to commit suicide so that the government compensates for his death by which they can repay their debt and redeem their land. The media descends on this small village seeking to be the first to give the ‘breaking news’ of an intended suicide.
I was first hesitant to watch this realistic movie on a subject as mundane as farmer suicide as I didn’t want to come out of the movie hall feeling blue. But the brilliant narration held me spellbound throughout ...every few scenes you smile or laugh at the irony of things. The humor also has a touch of pathos. The cinematography may not be great but the visual imagery makes a powerful statement.
The film is mostly a commentary on politics and media encompassing within all its smaller and larger an example where the Hindi reporter outsources his work to a local chap who says that he needn’t visit the site or interview someone in order to turn in the article. He can simply write by rote as nothing has changed in the last eight years.
The conscience of a lone reporter who tries to seek a solution amidst all this media frenzy is quieted down saying that –‘it is not for us to find solutions but to seek stories which make headlines.’
The surprise factor in the film is Naseeruddin Shah who shines brilliantly in the ten minute presence in the movie—this time as a smooth politician making glib and easy speeches and promises.
Let me not give away whether this guy, Natha, dies at the end. All I can say is this movie is a must- watch. The A certificate is unwarranted as there are no objectionable scenes except for a few expletives used here and there which again go with the flow of the narration.