Thursday, January 20, 2011


Aamir Khan has been three times unlucky in the Oscar so far. It was 'Lagaan' first,then 'Tare Zameen Par' and now it is 'Peepli LIve' which is this year's India's official entry to the Oscars. It has failed to appear in the final nine list.There were 66 films vying for the Oscar in the Best Foreign Language film category. The list will be pruned down further to five nominees by the Academy voters for January 25 Oscar nominations.The 83rd Academy Awards will take place on February 27, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood.

Peepli LIVE is a telling satire on how the media trivialises the suicide of farmers.It was directed by first-timer Anusha Rizvi.
It focusses on politicians, bureaucrats, television reporters and the local people. PEEPLI LIVE makes a scathing attack on the functioning of media in India and how they would go to any extent to improve their TRP ratings.
Natha (Omkar Das Manikpuri), is a poor farmer from Peepli village in the heart of rural India. He is about to lose his plot of land as he has defaulted in paying back a government loan. Natha chooses to commit suicide so that his family may benefit from government's aid to farmers who commit suicide. His brother (Raghubur Yadav) is glad to push him towards this objective.

Local elections are around the corner and what might have been another tragic but innocuous incident turns into a big tamasha, with everyone wanting a piece of the cake.All descend upon poor sleepy Peepli to push their agenda. Natha's mother (Farrukh Jaffer]) and his wife [Shalini Vatsa] are perenially quarelling,while his young son urges his father to go through with the suicide so he can use the money to become a policeman. One TV journalist, in a desperate search for a new angle, tries to examine Natha's faeces to determine his emotional state. Nobody seems to care how Natha really feels.

It's a well written and well executed film that deals with a serious issue in a humorous manner. It keeps your attention on the screen all the time. Anusha Rizvi does a great job as a director and handles the subject in a very mature manner.Music is ethnic and cinematography excellent. Manikpuri is brilliant as Natha. Raghubir Yadav as the opportunist brother does well. Malaika Shenoy,as the television reporter, is refreshing. Shalini Vatsa, as Natha's wife puts up a great performance. So does Farrukh Jaffer,Natha's bed-ridden mother.The constant bickering between the two adds humour to the plot. Naseeruddin Shah as the shrewd politician is exceptional. Others in the cast put in good performances.

This brilliant film produced and directed by Aamir Khan,I thought, was a sure winner in the Oscars this year for its original story and outstanding acting by Natha. Hope Aamir is lucky the next time.


Anonymous said...

Bummer.........I thought this movie was a sure fire winner, but can't figure out why it did not make the final cut...hope to catch some of the ones flicks that made it! Rupa

gs said...

Hello Rupa
I was very very disappointed.The original story, excellent acting,good direction by a debutante director were all the ingredients required for an Oscar.Just bad luck.

Haddock said...

I feel bad that Peepli did not make it to the final five (such a well made movie)
But I also feel good that all the three movies by Amir made a trip for the Oscar.

gs said...

Hello Haddock
Aamir is a very talented guy. I am sure he will bag an Oscar in the coming years.

SSQuo said...

I loved Natha! :)
Yes, it would be nice to see one of the Indian movies in the Oscars, but more importantly, Bollywood is churning out some really good stuff, and that's a big achievement in it itself.

I was watching the BAFTA awards two days ago, and noticed that they call their 'Foreign Film' category, 'Best Film Not in the English Language'. Quite politically correct no?

gs said...

Hello SSQuo
Though I agree that the quaity of Bollywood movies has significantly improved,they must stop this tendency of copying/adapting from Hollywood movies.We need more originality.In that respect Amir Khan excels. Lagaan or 3 idiots are refreshing and original.I think that "Best Film Not in the English Language" is quite correct.