My Take on Peepli Live
Peepli Live is easily one of the best movies I’ve watched in 2010 (Others being 3 Idiots, Raat Gayi Baat Gayi & Aashaiyen). My interest was piqued after seeing the promos n clippings on youtube n needless to say that the movie didn’t disappoint.
It’s a satire on today’s ‘sensational’ media (who will go to any lengths to get their next sensational ‘News’), politcians (who will use any one to save their ‘kursi’), Government policies (Govt officials giving Hand pump to a farmer on the verge of losing his land n committing suicide!!!), & human nature itself (the elder brother convincing younger Natha to commit suicide to save ‘their’ land, people setting up up their shops around Natha’s house…a carnival like atmosphere springs up around his house…no one seems to care about Natha’s death…everyone is eager to grind their own axe…even his son asks him when will he die so that the son can become a ‘Thekedar/Hawaldar’!!).
The story revolves around 2 brothers Natha n Budhia who are facing selling their ancestral land to pay their debts. They hear about a ‘scheme’ where the family of a farmer who commits suicide will get Rs. One Lakh. Before he realizes the younger brother Natha (Brilliantly played by Omprakash Manikpuri) is talked into committing suicide by his crafty elder brother Budhia. This catches the attention of media who want to grab their biggest sensational story of “live Suicide” & politicians ‘cos elections are just right around the corner. Everyone has an opinion whether Natha should die or not…whether Natha will die or not…no one seems to care about the poor guy n his extreme plight.
A very small n subtle but extremely important sub plot revolves around another poor landless village guy named Hori Mahato who dies un noticed working endlessly digging earth to make his meager living(?). No one is interested to ‘cover’ his death ‘cos his story is not sensational.
The story is poignant yet comedic. The performances by the characters are Natural.
The songs are relevant n meaningful (not the run of mill bollywood types) especially ‘chola mati ke ram’ which is spiritual n philosophical song on the inevitability of Death.