Sunday, August 29, 2010

a PEEP into the LEEway enjoyed by LIVEs of farmers!

I waited very long to watch this movie. The reason: They didn't screen it in Kozhikode and I didn't want to watch the pirated edition available on DC++.

Also I wanted to watch it with my parents. And I can say with confidence, people like me would have enjoyed it the more than others who are nothing but concrete born and brought up gas-mongers. For simple reason that I have been into villages long enough to identify and comprehend what's going on where (despite it not being in the focus of the frame)

Ooops! I am talking about Peepli Live! Aamir no doubt is a brilliant businessman and that is reflected in the way the film was promoted, or the way the cast/crew was selected. I reckon film might not have been that successful, if Aamir hadn't been associated with the film, not because of any fallacies within the film, but for the fact, films need to be marketed well in addition of being well made.

And a well made film it is. One of my professors said "You know if a film is a good one, if it drains (and not tortures) you emotionally (in sad or happy way)". Even with an issue as serious as Farmers' suicide (which can be dismissed by urban youth and middle-aged alike as HEY! NOT MY PROBLEM), writer-director Anusha Rizvi manages to touch chords with the audiences, not because of any sympathy but by the simple and true way of story telling. Another satire on Media and Politics (earlier failed attempts like Phir bhi dil hai Hindustani and Rann) but yet most of the puns are very fresh.

Dialogues are amazingly impactful. I was into the splits, when one of the leading journalist says "Aap dekh sakte hain ki Nathha ki maa ne hamein ye (V ka) ishara kiya. Iske do matlab ho sakte hain. Ya toe ye hamse beedi maang rahin hain, ya aman aur shanti ki appeal kar rahi hain". In another scene a reporter is examining Nattha's droppings to get cues about his mental state (before a declared future suicide)

Most importantly none of the characters enters into any "speech" mode to enlighted us about their plight and stay very natural. Raghuvir yadav (the only known face), owing to his rural background gels very well in the frames. Another enjoyable stuff is altercation of Saas-Bahu. Anusha has been careful enough no to used any abuses for the Saas by the Bahu (despite former laddering the latter with a pile of strong ones).

I could very easily identify with the way men sat around in circles and sang "Sakhi sayyan toe khoob hai kamaat re..Mehngaayi daayan khaaye jaat re". The indifference over the death of a family member in anticipation of compensation package is also beautifully shot. There is a very small reference of corporal punishment the two central characters received in their early days. My grand-parents had some similar stories to tell.

The rare troughs (not pitfalls) are the puns on politicians, which are stale as ever. We have seen them all, courtesy zillion movies being made upon the subject in last two decades. Rizvi knows her movie's strength and has focused on them ably.

There is no suspense element in the film and I don't think Rizvi even wanted any. The climax (preceding the end and the message that millions of farmers have either committed suicide or shifted professions in last decade and a half), is beautifully shot. It's not a happy ending because it doesn't happen that way in real life.

A worth watch in every sense. I would even recommend second viewing, to appreciate the art direction, setting and sub-plots.

Rating: ****

(PS: Thanks cheater chinu :) for spotting the error in the name. Corrected! )