Monday, August 23, 2010

Peepli Live

Last weekend was exciting, eventful and hectic. Two of the much awaited movies were releasing on the same day. "Peepli live" and "Eat, Prey and Love". Needless to say, I wanted to watch them both and do it soon. So i dragged Sid into two movies and an American Idol event that weekend.

Peepli Live - A fantastic satire on plight of poor farmers and the how the media/politicians spiced up the tragedy, blowing it out of proportion to gain popularity. The movie as the name suggests is set in a small village called Peepli (in Orissa). [I had the chance to visit this village almost a decade back and still remember it for the beautiful, bright and artistic craft that they sell.] It's the story of two (farmer) brothers who loose their small piece of land to the government in exchange of a loan they are unable to pay back. The rumors have it that the government is paying farmers upto 1 lakh rupees if they commit suicide. So after much contemplation, the younger brother declares publicly that he will commit suicide so that his family gets the money. This one announcement sets the movie rolling....

This movies is not your regular commercial masala movie. The hero does not fall in love with any girls, there are no hip-shaking numbers and beautiful international hot spots. It's not about designer clothes or famous star cast. It's about the life and the plight of farmers and their distress. It's about how politicians and our governments make promises just to stay in power and win your vote. It's about how the media can easily and very conveniently distort a simple fact into a masala "sansani" khabar and keep us mis-informed. And caught in the middle of all this craziness are the poor farmers who in the end are left high and dry.

I loved the movie for its story line, for the unconventional actors and for the excellent, crude but hilarious dialogues. [It had been a while since i had heard the typical dehati dialect]. In the light of the recent mass suicide by farmers, Peepli live does a fantastic job of showcasing and bringing to our attention an important problem in our society. With about 60% of the Indian population still relying on farming as their primary occupation, it's high time we paid attention to their stories too. It brings out the weakness in your political system. How easily development assistance programs are introduced but not really implemented. How promises are made only to provide hope and mock the system.

Peepli live is more on the line of a documentary than a main stream movie. It's a definite watch if development issues interest you else it's like watching another series of kisan yojna on TV!!

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