Movie Review: PEEPLI [Live] (2010)
When Aamir Khan produces a film, or is associated with any film in the capacity of an actor, be prepared for the unpredictable. Films like TAARE ZAMEEN PAR and 3 IDIOTS took pot shots at the education system in India and PEEPLI [LIVE], directed by Anusha Rizvi, is a tongue-in-cheek satire on the farmers’ suicides and the role of vote-hungry politicians and the over-enthusiastic, TRP-seeking desperate electronic media jostling for eyeballs.
Come to think of it, the concept [farmers’ suicides] would instinctively translate into a serious, thought-provoking film. But PEEPLI [LIVE] takes a grim and solemn issue, turns it into a satire, garnishes it with populist sentiment and makes a far greater impact than a mere documentary, had it tackled the burning issue. In fact, like all Aamir Khan films, PEEPLI [LIVE] marries realism with a winning box-office formula most brilliantly.
A sad fact of our society is that bad news attracts instant attention. In PEEPLI [LIVE], an impoverished man offers to commit suicide so that his family can benefit from a government grant – a dark subject matter which is dealt with in a delightfully humorous manner. In fact, it’s a terrific satire about a troubled India, the shining India, the industrialised India that’s rarely depicted on the Hindi screen.
PEEPLI [LIVE] focuses on the poorest of the poor in India and it not only highlights the plight of a farmer in a tiny corner of a giant country, but also throws light on the varied people who exploit the situation to their advantage, right from the politicians to the bureaucrats to the television reporters to the local people. In fact, PEEPLI [LIVE] makes a scathing attack on the functioning of media in India and how media persons, depicted as vultures, generally stoop to the lowest levels to increase the ratings of their television channel/show.