Thursday, 19 August 2010

Live from Peepli

Yup! I know lot has been said about the movie. It was sure to do well, right from the moment Aamir Khan decided to produce it. Well, yes, the movie was good. Damn good. Slick, humorous and as 'real' it could get.
I thought it was going to be about farmers suicide. But...yes it does talk about the farmer's or A FARMER'S SUICIDE. The farmer, in this case, is Natha. And, his suicide is discussed in DETAIL by the mediawalle from Delhi and also by the regional satraps.
The media makes a mockery of his death. And, like all the media reports, exclusives, breaking news - nothing CONCLUSIVE, comes out of it. The movie, I mean.
Personally, three scenes touched me. One is that of the farmer, Hari Mahto, who has lost his land because he didn't have the money to repay the loan he took from the bank. He works in a pit now, digging mud. The mud is sold to contractors for meagre Rs 100 per day. He dies. The media, meanwhile, is tracking Natha's death (will he? won't he?) while Mahto's death is ignored. The 'real' suicide is ignored. Because, Natha's story fetched more TRP. Right from DM, to CM to the babus in Agriculture Ministry, everyone has a stake in Natha's death.
The second scene has Rakesh, the local reporter for a Hindi daily, trying to convince the hot-shot reporter from Delhi, Nandita Mallik (Barkha Dutt, maybe?) that she needs to focus on Mahto to have the word, TRP' flung on his face. Incidentally, Rakesh is the one who first 'broke' the story of Natha.
The third scene is when Rakesh loses his life in the fire. The mediawalle write off that Natha has died in the blaze.
I have worked in the Capital's media office. So, I found the scene where Deepak (Deepak Chaurasia?)follows Nandita Mallik when she leaves the CM's conference to trace Natha who is hiding/forced to hide in the godown. Nandita's car's tailight picks up Deepak's car, who in turn realises that other media people are following him - so that all get their pie of the 'breaking news'. That was hilarious. TRULY HILARIOUS!'
The gaon, Natha's wife, his buddhi amma, elder brother, unki do bakriyan, the thakur, the babudom, the caste politics - all make for a perfect setting. A perfect story of why India works or why it doesn't.
Do watch. At least for the media bashing. We deserve it.

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