Monday, February 6, 2012


I Came to US in August 2009 for my Masters. After coming here, for whatever reasons, I have seen very few Indian movies released after that. Some of the very important factors are there are not many theaters that play Indian movies in US, for that matter I have seen only 1 in almost 100 mile radius and other being I was here for getting my Master's degree, not to watch movies. However, that should have stopped me from watching movies altogether but it didn't. And besides these two obvious reasons, I think there is one more reason which I think is much more Valid. And that reason is I think overall standard has dropped dramatically in Hindi Film Industry, in last couple of years. One common example I site to my friends when we discuss this is - Like every other film industry, in India, we have awards at the end of the year to celebrate the excellence in cinema. In year 2011, out of the 5 movies nominated for 'Movie of the Year' award, 4 were My Name is Khan(2010), Guzaarish(2010), Tees Maar Khan(2010) and Dabaang(2010). Out of it, Dabaang(2010) and Tees Maar Khan(2010) are so bad, so bad that by the end you start laughing, not because it is actually funny but because you have had enough. And the other two, My Name is Khan(2010) and Guzaarish(2010) are just plain bad. I sometimes even go out of my way to call them '4 worst movies made ever in the history of Indian Cinema' and they were competing for 'Movie of the Year' award. Now you tell me.

However, even then, that is not by biggest rant about the state of Bollywood. Even bigger problem, at least in my opinion is, there is so much crap being produced now a days, that some times a real gem gets lost in it very easily. That's what happened to Udaan(2010) and that is what happened to Peepli[Live](2010) as well. I actually as much blame myself for not checking it out earlier because I kept on procrastinating it on every possible account. Until now, I have kept this blog pretty much exclusive for English movies. But since I think I need to voice my opinion to promote this, I am going to make an exception here and probably will continue to do it if I think any film deserves my attention - after all it is MY blog. Also, another reason to write about it is, Peepli[Live] is actually available on Netflix Streaming. So, if someone who is reading this feels influenced enough, they can go and check it out easily and legally - at least in US, UK and Canada. So, let me influence you then !!

Peepli[Live] is a story of two brothers, two relinquished farmers Nathadas and Budhia Manikpuri who are running family farm to make the ends meet. They are neck deep into the loans taken from bank and since there has not been any rain, they have not been able to pay any part of their loan back yet. So, while they are waiting for the default judgement, they go to their local land-lord as a last resort because even he has a grudge on them since they snubbed him by going to the bank instead of taking loan from him. But off course, instead of giving them money that they desperately need, he suggests another way out - suicide since Government has announced a new policy that it will give Rs. 100,000 to the family of the deceased farmer. Natha and Budhia, who have turned every knob they can turn, knocked every door they can knock and do not have a single ray of hope, start thinking seriously about a comment just made to discard them because unfortunately that is there best chance to sustain their family.

Somehow, a local news reporter who is covering the imminent state elections, overhears a conversation and prints this strange news in the local newspaper. Since whole state is in election mode, this seemingly small news picks up national momentum and within few days, every damn news channel and newspaper is camped outside Natha's house to cover his suicide and hilarity ensues. Every Tom, Dick and Harry starts weighing in on what Natha should do to feed the whole media frenzy out there, if nothing else it makes Natha wonder if suicide really is the last resort to help his family. While media frenzy is giving him national focus, remarkable part is NO ONE, absolutely no one is actually trying to Help him. Local politician doesn't really care, he thinks that it is all a farce and is waiting for party orders, State government thinks it is central government issue, Central Government says Suicide is illegal and hence they have to wait for a court order and court is not taking any action because there is no case in court. On couple of occasions, he does get help but in an incredibly and ingeniously useless fashion - state government assigns him a Hand Pump('Lal Bahadur') to keep from killing himself and one of rival politician declares him a martyr and gifts him Television. REALLY!! Like that is going to help him any way. At one point of time, they even bring the legality of Natha's actions into picture, but no one tries to help him out of grave he is thinking of digging for himself. Hundreds of reporters gathered out ask every possible question except is there any way to prevent him from doing this?

It not only addresses the issue of farmers committing suicide but also throws punches on the mentality of media and politicians through a satirical drama. Imagine Ace in the Hole(1951) sans all the vile and plus whole lot of humor. Humor plays a very important part in it because even though you are laughing the whole time, you will find yourself asking 'Should I really be laughing?' and kudos to writer/director Anusha Rizvi for that. There are very few female directors out there and tackling such a risk of portraying serious social subject in very first endeavor, she deserves a special mention for that too. It is difficult to find a movie based on a social issue worth your time. Believe me when I say each and every minute of these 106 minutes is worth it.

Rating(out of 5):


  1. I am not the greatest watcher of Indian movies, but I really do not know why. This sounds like a great film that I will try and check out if I get a chance.

    thanks SDG

    1. With Netflix launched in UK, I am hoping you should find them little more easily. Let me know if you need any recommendations.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...