Movie Review - Peepli Live

I once read - high expectations mar the prospects of a film. Given the kind of hype and the initial media-reports that Peepli Live is a brilliant satire, it was natural that my expectations were gigantic. Did Peepli Live meet my expectations? Honestly, no!

Guess, my unsatiated cinematic experience relies heavily on the fact that Aamir Khan produces the film and I was looking for Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron kind of high, which I think, is the best satire, India has ever made.

Peepli Live is a satire on the miserable conditions of the farmers across India, the farmer suicides and how the entire system is rotten to use even suicide to advantage. Brilliant concept, with not so brilliant execution in nutshell surmises Peepli Live.

Natha (Omkar Das Manikpuri) lives with his brother Budhiya (Raghubir Yadav) in Peepli. Poor farmers they are about to lose his plot of land due to an unpaid government loan. A local politician’s henchman mentions about the aid government gives to families of farmers who commit suicide. Budhiya talks Natha into committing suicide.

All hell breaks loose, conniving politicians, wily journalists, corrupt police; everyone gets entangled in the most desired thing in the world – power.

The film starts off very well, but looses steam once everyone – journalists and politicians – are in the village; writing falters over here as the incidents could be much more hilarious.

Directorially Anusha Rizvi makes a very confident debut and handles some of the scenes exceptionally well; she is particularly aided by a motley crew of brilliant actors who know the nuances of acting. The only shortcoming of the film is the writing that lacks the desired punch for such a brilliant concept.

What rocks the movie:

The concept
The actors, almost everyone fits in the part like hand in glove
The realism, the director is successful in establishing the wily journalists creating news even out of shit!
The length, first half is about 48-50 min. and thankfully the producers didn’t stretch it to the usual 1 hour.

What chucks the movie:

Writing couldn't capitalize on the brilliant concept.


People looking for a high like Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron or Lagaan will be disappointed, but those who know the interiors and their lingo well, might just enjoy Peepli Live. The film is good not brilliant.

July 21 '10; the day Indian Film Industry got INDEPENDENT!