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October 2010
Movie Review Peepli Live

Starring: Omkar Das Manikpuri, Raghubir Yadav, Naseeruddin Shah

Producer: Aamir Khan
Director: Anusha Rizvi
Music Directors: Indian Ocean, Raghuveer Yadav, Nageen Tanvir and Ram Sampath

A small film, Peepli Live has lots to say without being boring or preachy. In fact, this tragi-comedy is a lively exposé on the India of today, with its many contradictions and the urban-rural divide. Kudos to first-time director Anusha Rizvi for handling the difficult subject with the ease of a veteran. It helps, of course, that she has the man with the Midas touch, Aamir Khan as her producer.

The nondescript village of Peepli in the heart of rural India is suddenly in the news. Word is out that an impoverished farmer, Natha (Omkar Das Manikpuri), egged on by his brother Budhiya (Raghubir Yadav), plans to commit suicide in order to avail of the Rs 1 lakh compensation package doled out by the government. Soon enough, political bigwigs, high-ranking bureaucrats, TRP-seeking electronic media and local henchmen descend upon the sleepy hamlet, all wanting to exploit the situation to their advantage. The icing on the cake is the chilling finale. The film does tend to get repetitive at times, but that’s something you can gloss over.

Casting artistes of veteran Habib Tanvir’s Naya Theatre troupe was a masterstroke on the part of the director. Their life-like portrayals lend a fresh authenticity to the film. Farrukh Jaffer’s rancorous mom act is absolutely brilliant. It is a pleasure to see Raghubir Yadav in a full-fledged role rather than as a sidekick. He also gets to sing the song that has become a rage, Mehngai dayain. But the man who quietly steals the show with his realistic and moving portrayal is the unlikely hero, Omkar Das Manikpuri.

Don’t miss this dark satire on life beyond the metros in India.

Current Top 10 Songs

1. Tere Mast Mast (Dabangg)
2. Pee Loon (Once Upon A Time In Mumbai)
3. Anjaana Anjaani (Anjaana Anjaani)
4. Bin Tere (I Hate Luv Storys)
5. Mehngai Dayain (Peepli Live)
6. Suno Aisha (Aisha)
7. Man Lafanga (Lafangey Parindey)
8. Mera Jeena Hai (Aashayein)
9. Mora Piya (Rajneeti)
10. Rabba Luck Barsa (Kajraare)

Current Top 10 Movies

1. Peepli Live
2. We Are Family
3. Once Upon A Time In Mumbai
4. Lafangey Parindey
5. Aisha
6. Hello Darling
7. Aashayein
8. I Hate Luv Storys
9. Antardwand
10. Tere Bin Laden

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