A merry-go-round of melodrama

A merry-go-round of melodrama

A merry-go-round of melodrama

black sheep: The rustic characters of “Peepli Live”

Debutante director Anusha Rizvi has hit the perfect jackpot with “Peepli Live”. The film is a simple political/social satire (minus the hype, minus the hoopla).

Peepli, a small village in the middle of nowhere, is not your typical Bollywood village. This hamlet has no village ‘chora’ serenading the village ‘gori’ (in plunging necklines and never-ending backless ‘cholis’). Instead it has the village simpleton Nathu (a gem of a newbie), his nagging wife Dhaniya (Shalini Vatsa), Budhia (the ever dependable Yadav) and the beedi-smoking, foul-tongued amma (Farrukh Jaffar).

Keeping farmers’ suicide as her backdrop Rizvi (who has thoroughly researched her strong script) takes us into the life of Nathu. By default he is pushed to play the martyr who is supposed to commit suicide to save his piece of land. What follows is a merry-go-round of ‘naach-nautanki’.

The hype surrounding Nathu’s yet-to-commit-suicide saga is totally hilarious. But one gaze into Nathu’s pondering eyes will just draw you right into the middle of the proceedings. The earthy music and folk-like lyrics at no point hinder the narrative. In fact you will hum a few tunes long after you are done with the film. Naseeruddin Shah as the uber-chic politician is a delight to watch. Besides a strong script, the film clicks due to its stars (oops.. actors).
Each one of them can act... and how! Most of them come with theatrical experience and it shows. They breathe life into their characters and touch you from the word go. You laugh, cry, dance and even swear along with them. The ‘maa/behen gaalis’ couldn’t have gotten any better (the last time being “Omkara”).

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