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PEEPLI (LIVE) - Movie Review : Though good as a comic satire but Sorry to see Aamir Khan and his team making fun of a serious issue of Farmers Suicides in INDIA. (Review by Bobby Sing)
13 Aug, 2010 | Movie Reviews / 2010 Releases

When the brand name of AAMIR KHAN is associated with a film, then the expectations are bound to be there and the film has to be about something out of the routine. That’s exactly the case with PEEPLI (LIVE), which interestingly has got both the positive and negative vibes, based on the subject of farmers suicides witnessed in India in the last few years due to the intolerable pressure of floods, droughts and low levels of income.

Insightfully produced by the visionary man AAMIR KHAN and skillfully directed by the talented Anusha Rizvi, the film was no-where in news or knowledge of people a few months ago. But thanks to its master mind marketing genius and superb earthy track “Mehangayi Dayan Khaye Jaat Hai” that the film got hugely famous in just one months’ time and now is ruling over the mind and heart of every Indian movie lover all over the world. No doubt, the exhibitors are excited and the producers are confident, but in my opinion the film manages to support their vision of box office results to only some extent. In fact I would like to rate PEEPLI (LIVE) both as a good as well as an unappreciative film at the same time. And I would readily be giving my reasons for that.
From a normal moviegoer point of view the film is a fine entertainer but not a thoroughly entertaining flick right till its end. The movie starts off well with few good dialogues hugely supported by the abusive language as heard in the local lingo of the villages. The audience laugh out loud when the local people talk to each other with all those “Gaallis” and added adjectives. And they further also enjoy the taunting conversations between the ailing grandmother lying on the bed and her young daughter in law. Out of the two brothers in the story, Raghuvir Yadav, the elder one is more enjoyable as compared to the leading hero of the movie, Omkar Das Manikpuri as Natha. Even when the younger brother announces his suicide, Raghuvir Yadav still remains the most amusing character moving around Natha all the time.
After its initial half an hour, the script mainly focuses on the huge circus of media people and politicians playing around Natha and his suicide announcement. The cunning yet truthful portrayal of T.V. journalists, Channel TRPs and hungry politicians looking out for their votes is no doubt impressive and executed brilliantly. But after a while this all becomes quite monotonous and repetitive. Till the scene of Natha’s disappearance the proceedings become slow and rather unexciting. But then the climax comes just like as expected from a comic satire leaving the viewer to think and let him have his own conclusions over the ending. However to some people, the end may also seem to be abrupt and not entertaining enough if compared to the whole movie. Hence, looking from the angle of a normal viewer, PEEPLI (Live) is a good entertainer having few funny sequences and dialogues. But for the family audiences, taking their young kids along in the theater, the abusives strongly used in the dialogues may bring a certain kind of embarrassment on their faces.
Now, coming to the negative vibes associated with the movie, I would like to admit that I was really expecting a more hard hitting and bold movie from the house of Aamir Khan. A film which should have shown some guts to ask the concerned authorities for their answers.
On hearing the news of the movie for the first time, I was glad that Aamir Khan took the initiative to produce a film based on such a serious issue of farmers suicides which may not be known to many young boys and girls of our country even today. And then the buzz of making it as a comic satire even raised my expectations to a higher level as that was a great way to reach the common people and make them aware of the alarming situation prevailing in the country behind the curtains.
But after watching PEEPLI (LIVE), I was somehow disappointed since the motive of making the people aware was no-where visible in the whole movie till the end. Frankly speaking, as the movie ended, I just realized that Aamir and his director Anusha, had basically used this relevant theme in a comic style only for their own gains and they were actually least concerned over the seriousness of the issue in the villages.
Though the movie does have a sequence of a poor farmer named Hori Mahato (remembering a character from Premchand’s Godaan), dying from weakness and hunger for whom no T.V. coverage or story is done by the journalists. But the sequence is so short and briefly shown that it leaves no lasting impact on the viewer to make him think. Moreover, I also couldn’t appreciate the scene where a 10 year old child asks his father “Kab Maroge?”.   
Truly speaking, after the intermission, I simply felt sorry to see the makers and the viewers making fun of the farmers who are left with no choice but suicide. The movie which could have raised a big question in the society just ends up like another comedy movie from Bollywood where the audience is made to laugh at the helplessness and pity situation of the hero. I really didn’t expect AAMIR KHAN, supporting this kind of take on the issue, the thinking man who gave us two brilliant movies in the past questioning our faulty educational systems (Taare Zameen Par and 3 Idiots).
I agree that it’s not his movie completely, but he is there as the producer and also the only person who actually made the movie famous in a month’s time from all his promotional activities in the press and T.V. So, he surely had a certain amount of responsibility on his shoulders to somewhere address the bigger issue in his own impeccable style which could have influenced a whole new generation in the rural areas.
To be precise, looking at the track record of both AAMIR KHAN Productions and ANUSHA RIZVI, a more decent, thoughtful and responsible movie was expected from the duo, which should have been another eye-opener for the entire population of INDIA. But sadly PEEPLI (LIVE) doesn’t rise above the level of a fine comedy which hugely depends upon its abusive dialogues and mean sequences. The film neither explains the tough conditions faced by the farmers in the villages related to their farming nor it establishes any emotional connect between the main protagonist and his viewers.
No doubt, director Anusha Rizvi makes an impressive debut, but in order to give the movie a light comic touch, she takes the limelight away from the main important subject. And after going through it, I really doubt any young viewer coming out of the theater would now ever be interested in actually studying the scary truth behind the countless numbers of farmers committing suicide in the last few decades. Because just showing a text slide in the end about the real stats and figures doesn't really serve the purpose.
Talking about the performances, the entire cast has enacted realistically and the director indeed deserves her praises for that. Every contributor in the movie from the unknown Manikpuri to the veterans Raghuvir Yadav and Naseeruddin Shah have excelled in their performances respectively. Cinematography takes you into a different world altogether and the Soundtrack using the traditional instruments and lyrics suits the background of the movie perfectly. The song “Mehangayi Dayan” has simply struck the right chord with the viewers arriving at the right time, when the prices are really shooting sky high in the country.
But here I would also like to add that the concept of the movie isn’t completely new or fresh as being written in the press all over. We have witnessed similar kind of themes (though with a different background) in Frank Capra’s “Meet John Doe”, which was later adapted in Bollywood as Amitabh Bachchan’s “Main Azaad Hun” and also Naseer’s “Hero Hiralal”.
So, for me PEEPLI (Live) only remains an above average comedy made on a serious issue which fails to address the core question in the much desired manner. May be I was expecting a lot more from Aamir Khan and his team, which I couldn’t find in the movie and as a conclusion I still rate “Main Azaad Hun” a better and more hard hitting film in all respects made on a similar subject ever.  
For the readers interested in knowing about its box office prospects, PEEPLI LIVE has already made profits for its producers even before its release by selling all the other related rights of the movie. So in that respect AAMIR KHAN has got another winner in his pocket without any doubt.
Ratings : 3 / 5

Note : PEEPLI LIVE - Contradiction : At one side the director and her producer slam the MEDIA and MEDIA PEOPLE in their movie, but on the other hand they take the help of the same media in the PRESS and TV to hugely publicize their  small budget movie before its release.

Thats what we call PURE BUSINESS being done in the name of a social cause.


Tags : Peepli Live Review By Bobby Sing, Peepli Live Film Review By Bobby Sing, Peepli (Live) Movie Review, Peepli (Live) at bobbytalkscinema.com, Aamir Khan Productions, Farmers Suicides in India, New Bollywood Movies Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bobby Sing Bollywood Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Fil
13 Aug 2010 / Comments ( 10 )
Nihin

Are bobby bhai? kya kar diya tumne? acchi movie ko dho dala...anyways you still didn't rate it that bad, but i always respect one's opinion. i would have given 4 stars because once in a couple of years a movie is produced that dares to challenge the system and eventually succeeds in a satire way. this movie is 1000s better than watching brainless comedies (which you'd have given 1 to 2 stars) which is why i'd rate it higher.

it's good to see you confessing that you expected ALOT more but eventually ended up disappointed. But the promo indeed say.. "Ke bhaiya, roj-roj nahi banti LAGAAN".

Cheers!

Bobby Sing

Hi Nihin, Thanks for your comment and Yes I expected a lot more deeper stuff from the midas man.

No doubt the film is good, but what i feel is that it keeps floating on the surface and doesnt portray the real trauma behind the fact of Farmers Suicide. It was a satire thats fine but does the movie makes you even think of the dying farmers after it ends. So it seemed to me as the topic was exploited just for constructing a Hit and therefore I could only give it 3 stars and not 4 or more.

Anyway Aamir has already succeeded in his aim of making it famous and also a profitable venture for his production house.

But just think for a moment that had there been no Aamir to promote this then what would have been the fate of the movie. Would you have gone to watch it? or would the channels have given it so much coverage.

The film clearly shows that today with a good marketing strategy we can easily make the viewer believe that he is really seeing something good and can easily construct Hits for ourself. This is what being practiced by many big production houses from the last few years.

PEEPLI LIVE is a good film, but I cant rate it as something essential to see before you die. As there have been other better movies on the similar theme like "Meet John Doe" and "Main Azaad Hun".

But Thanks bro for writing in and respecting my opinion too.

Cheers!

Shripad Kasture
Agreed!!..have you watched Marathi film on same subject Gabhrichaa Paus(The Damned Rain)..it was really great movie...
Bobby Sing

Hi Shripad,

Thanks for supporting my viewpoint. I havent watched "Gabhrichaa Paus" (The Damned Rain), but now as you have mentioned it, I will sure look out for it soon.

Thanks once again for your comment and Keep Visiting...Cheers! 

chandan

Completely agree with you Sir,
I had high expectations.. and the only thing people were laughing was on those "Desi Gaalis" ,
So I think there are many stories in Munshi Premchands collection which tells similar thing but with more feelings.

Bobby Sing

Thanks Chandan, I am glad you saw the same thing too.......Keep Visiting and giving your valuable comments.....Cheers!

sarah

Hi Bobby

While reading your review of Peepli Live, i can help but feel amused on how you have assumed that the movie is on Farmer Suicides.

Your whole argument against the movie is based on this assumption. This is not a documentary exposing the stark realities of a poor farmers life, rather it is a humorous take on the Urban and Rural divide.
If you have read Anusha's interviews , you would have noticed this.
So your expectations of it depicting why and how the Indian system has failed its people is misplaced.

On the other hand , Movies are a BUSINESS.Period. Everyone makes movies to make money. The days of Mughl-e-Azam are long dead when cinema used to be about passion or the parallel cinema movement.

In my opinion, i think Anusha has done a terrific job of making a movie sans any element deemed mainstream to succeed at BO. She comes from a Urban upbringing , but she has tried to capture the rural hues wonderfully and i think its commendable rather than debut with a KJo, SRK, YashRaj type NRI wannabe escapist garbage.

There, i said it..my 2 cents on this movie.Hope you wont mind.

Bobby Sing

Hi Sarah,

No I really dont mind dear, but my point remains intact and you yourself have explained the logic behind the movie.

This is not a documentary but a satire. Agreed....... but as I see it satire can be made upon the system, upon the govt, upon the media exactly in the manner as the film did.
Humorous take on Urban and Rural divided is fine but why take the support of a serious topic where people are giving their lives because of shortage of means and government support. 

Its brilliant  that you make a movie on the rural urban divide topic and make your money but why make fun of those poor people who are taking their lives while we are watching our televisions.

As you said the days of Mughe-e-Azam of over. Yes they are over but due to their non existence both CINEMA and the VIEWERS are at a loss. With commercialism taking over, now you are made to like a movie deliberately like in hypnotism.

The fact is that had there been no AAMIR KHAN behind this, many of the viewers may not have seen it and would not even cared to watch it. AAMIR is a intelligent business man as he knows how to mould mind and viewpoints of the viewers in his favour.

Yes, Anusha has done a good job, no doubt about that. But as you said she comes from a Urban upbringing and has tried to capture the rural hues wonderfully.

But my dear friend rural india is like living at a front......with new problems cropping up every morning.

Frankly speaking i cant blame the makers or the viewers for this because this can be understood by only those who have witnessed people becoming labourers from farmers, people killing each other over disputes of river water, people who were forced to leave their birth place after selling their land or the people who have seen long beautiful yellow crop fields being turned into cities and factories within few years.

Only those people can understand the pain behind that dying farmer. 

So, i dont mind dear, but i cant be just satisfied by laughing over some "Local Gaalis" and people making money over some dying man.

I hope you dont mind.........so keep writing in.

Cheers!

Dinuth87

OMG!!! I'm really surprised by ur review. Peepli and Dabang got the same rating? DABANG is a B Movie.

First of all this is not a farmer suicide movie.This movie talks about global capitalism, shift to industrialization from agriculture, mass media behavior. Suicide is the driving force of the plot.

Then this is not a comedy but a satire. they are different. It ridicules social values for a better society. If it's a bad thing to ridicule suicides then what about movies like LIFE OF BRIAN, DR STRANGELOVE, WAG THE DOG, MASH.

Next u are talking about abusive language. I don't know hindi bad words but this movie has the best dialogs i have seen in a hindi movie for a long time. (Don't be afraid. This is a camera. It doesn't do anything to u.)

This movie has a great sub text. Final scene is unbelievable. Cinematography is great. Direction is good for a debutant but the this great script needs a great director. As u said ,that other farmer' death scene should have a longer time to convince.

Finally u have a serious problem about the reaction of the audience and the marketing of the film. For me, I don't care about these things. I only watched it as a art piece. U said that this movie takes a light hearted view about the problem. I think this one of the rare movies in indian cinema that plot is stick to the point that they are trying to say and it has a deep but unbiased view about the real problem in india.

We people talking about the rising middle classes problems. But here they take it out the veil of the real india. U said u felt sympathy towards farmers. But i felt shame about ourselves because what we doing in this society. This is the film of the year

As Warren Buffett said " Theres class warfare, all right, but its my class, the rich class, thats making war, and we are winning "

PS - This movie has same themes from Wylder's Ace In the Hole and sitcom YES minister.

Bobby Sing

Sorry Dinuth87, but I cant agree with any of your comments about the movie.

The only thing I would like to say is that PEEPLI LIVE is a pure example of what marketing and big names can do to glorify a product.

And as a concluding comment here I would like to inform that all that concern over the Country and its farmers and the corrupt politicians have now vanished into thin air and nobody from the makers were interested in talking about it even after the first good run week of the film was over. 

That pure film business and nothing else. And I dont watch films in that style. 

And for your info now the director and the co-director of the film are also against Aamir Khan as per the latest news.

Anyway Keep Posting!

 

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