IIM Calcutta

Peepli Live

By Arun Ramachandran

P Sainath, in one of his cynical observations on the corporate media once commented that there were truckloads of journalists covering the Lakme India Fashion Week, in Mumbai, but only a handful covering the farmer suicides in Vidarbha a few hours away. Years have passed by, neither has Sainath changed nor has the Indian mainstream media.

But interestingly, Aamir Khan has produced a movie – Peepli Live, “a satire on the farmers’ suicides and subsequent media and political response”. Slated for release on August 13th, Peepli Live is being marketed heavily. It is already the first film from India to compete in the Sundance Film Festival in the US. With music score composed by
Indian Ocean, Aamir is not leaving any stone unturned. They have come up with a slick website – http://www.peeplilivethefilm.com/ It is a must visit for anyone remotely interested in Film Marketing.

The movie is directed by a débutante, Anusha Rizvi, an obscure lady. I have exhausted Google search, but couldn’t find any valuable info on her. The cast includes Raghubhir Yadav and Naseerudin Shah.

Meanwhile, controversies never seem to leave Aamir. He had to take responsibility for delayed payment to a musical group from a village in Madhya Pradesh for using their folk song. It has also been reported that BJP has asked permission for using a song from Peepli Live for their anti price rise campaign. Interesting!!!

It would be nice to see a low budget, off-beat movie making it big in Bollywood. But after all, its about an issue the urban middle-class little cares about. No marks for guessing whether it would stay on theaters for more than a fortnight.


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