Peepli Live – Excellent account of Rural India

A friend of mine after watching the movie commented that the movie was interesting but did not have a strong message to deliver. He wanted what I would put as a closure climax. A couple of years back, the closure was very important for me. I used to feel very uncomfortable if all the loose ends had not been tied, the family reunited, differences and confusions reconciled, the bad punished, the good welcomed, the underdog acknowledged and the movie complete. Maybe watching gems like Magnolia, where frogs falls from the sky (biblical reference) , made me suspend reality a bit and  enjoy the movie and the emotions.

Peepli live is one of the best satire on TRP driven journalism, the stagnation of rural life, bureaucracy and red tape, self serving ways of politicians and government apathy to the farmers. In one of the most hilarious moments of the film, the local administration unable to manage the sudden hoopla around the suicide, decides to hand out a ‘ lal Bahadur ‘ – a hand pump in bureaucratic parlance, but does-not install the pump. The pump in a later sequence is a play item for the kids.

Natha – the protagonist speaks less and emotes more (something which is so rare in a Hindi movie). Whether, as a naïve younger brother, or as a genuinely good natured dreamer Natha potrays an innocence that’s so endearing that you would automatically fall in love with him. Each of the characters in the movie – be it his manipulative and more materialistic brother, his wife who is caught in this whirlwind and doesnot know what is good and what is bad, the senile bad mouthed mother , the self serving politicians and the journalist come out very sharply and minutely detailed. The opening sequence of the movie with the song and the vehicle is a treat to watch. This sequence  sets the rural tone right-away.

And while the tone and the gimmicks may be funny, the helplessness of the rural folks caught between rains and an indifferent administration does not get missed. The movie is a must to get a flavour of Bharat.


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