Thursday, January 20, 2011
OUT OF THE OSCAR RACE
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.