Previews|April 30, 2010 1:32 am

Peepli Live: The First Preview

Some movies in Bollywood do not make big spot among common people but they do leave their mark. Peepli Live comes under such categories. The movie, produced by Aamir Khan, is directed written by Anusha Rizvi in her first directorial venture.

Omkar Das Manikpuri, Raghubir Yadav, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Malaika Shenoy starrer movie is about two impoverished farmers, Natha (Omkar Das Manikpuri) and Budhia (Raghubir Yadav), in the small Indian village of Peepli, are about to lose their farmland due to outstanding debt.

An incompetent politician suggests they commit suicide to get government help and the media becomes involved. Natha takes the jest seriously and volunteers. His brother Budhia all too easily agrees. They turn Natha into a celebrity as speculation over whether or not he will commit suicide captivates the country. A reporter (played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui) overhears this conversation and turns it to a news story. A glamorous TV reporter and presenter, (played by Malaika Shenoy) covers the story and soon the whole country is caught up in the saga of the farmer who vows to kill himself.

This, of course, upset various politicians and, local and state politicians fall out, resulting to save Natha, while other politicians threaten Bidhia, if Natha doesn’t kill himself. His family members including his mother (Farrukh Jaffer), shrewish wife (Shalini Vatsa) and his younger son urge Natha to commit suicide so that he can utilize the money.

Anusha has casted rural folks as actors who perfectly fit into their characters. Even Shenoy has worked as a TV presenter, just like her character, and is part of the English theater movement in Mumbai. Most of the actors belong to theatre rather than film industry except Ragubir Yadav, so their accents, idioms and attitudes ring true to Indian audiences.

All aspects to the production from the mobile 35mm camera to the realistic sets and costumes make ‘Peepli Live” a satisfying comic gem. Peepli Live was filmed on location in Madhya Pradesh and New Delhi.

Facts About Peepli Live

Cast: Omkar Das, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Raghubir Yadav, Malaika Shenoy, Shalini Vatsa, Farukh Jaffer

Director/screenwriter: Anusha Rizvi

Producers: Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao

Executive producer: B. Shrinivas Raophy

Director of photography: Shankar Raman

Production designer: Suman Roy Mahapatra

Music: Mathias Duplessy

Song composer: Indian Ocean

Costume designer: Maxima Basu

Editor: Hemanti Sarkar