Monday, August 16, 2010

Aamir's movie makes chutney of desi media !

It's true! Aamir ne mediawallon ki chhuti kar di! God knows what the original intention\inspiration was, but as it stands today 'Peepli' has more to do with media bashing than farmer suicides. The irony of it all is that Aamir will mint millions ( the film ,for all its virtues, would not have attracted this level of attention without Aamir's marketing might), while those bechara farmers will continue killing themselves. The joke doing the rounds is : all that Aamir touches, including 'tatti' ( excreta) turns to gold. And there is enough of that (tatti) around in moviedom for Aamir to own a goldmine soon!!
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This appeared in Bombay Times today...
Amazing! ‘Peepli {Live} takes the pants off journos – TV types in particular. And journos applaud! Are we finally growing up? ‘Peepli’systematically strips away the vanities of several, easy to identify TV anchors – and the same guys invite Aamir Khan and his extraordinary star cast to appear on their channels! More masochism follows. Baby,hit me one more time, begs a fawning journo on camera, as Bollywood’s smartest movie moghul ( let’s just anoint him ‘The Khan’), proceeds to do just that with all the finesse of a smiling assassin slitting his victim’s throat. On camera, of course. We are loving it!!! Aamir and gang are flogging us in public – and we are begging for more! Wah! Aamir Khan’s love- hate relationship with the fourth estate is well known. With ‘Peepli’, he has gone the whole hog with it. Media ko nanga kar diya. No issues. To be fair, mediawallas have also demonstrated that they are mature enough to take it on the chin, particularly when the scathing representation is delivered with such lethal accuracy. I wonder how many high profile TV anchors from Delhi were red faced and cringing while watching this smartly positioned film. Did they die through the movie as their cinematic clones ridiculed them mercilessly? Did they go into instant denial (“This isn’t me! It’s that other bitch!”). Or did something positive come out of the carnage ( is it too much to expect heart felt introspection from our tribe?).Does ‘Peepli’ work for those outside the media fraternity? Yes and no. If there is any shikayat at all, it is that too many ‘messages’ are crammed into the script – from sending up ‘Breaking News’ TV types, to addressing the tragedy of farmer suicides . From mocking the ludicrous world of Indian bureaucracy ( there’s a clever cameo from Mumbai’s own Vijay Crishna as a tight assed, rules- bound Babu in the Ministry of Agriculture), to making bandars out of netas. There is nothing all that new about any of this. So many other films have gone there in the past and depicted our politicians for what they are – a pack of sadistic, venal , morally corrupt creatures. ‘Peepli’ just does it more stylishly, using subversive humour and a superbly picked ensemble cast. Malaika Shenoy playing a monster TRPs- chasing star anchor (wink!wink!)named Nandita Malik does a scarey take off on Barkha Dutt as she establishes her cosy relationship with a minister ( Naseeruddin Shah) seconds before the cameras roll. There are many such ‘insider’ tracks that keep… well…. insiders themselves panting for more. But beyond these biting insights and flourishes, this is a must watch movie about ourselves – us city slickers for whom life itself has been converted into sound bytes and visuals. The irony is not missed by anyone, as the chief protagonist, an outstanding actor Omkar Das Manikpuri ( Natha)playing the poverty stricken, desperate farmer talked into announcing his suicide,watches the media circus from the sidelines.Significantly, Natha remains stoically silent through most of the film, breaking into a love song at an unexpected moment. It is poignant touches like this that make the movie explode inside the mind and remind us yet again that while we munch our over-priced caramel popcorn at a multiplex and ‘tch tch’ away about the wretched of the land, somewhere in a parched and hopelessly marginalized corner of our country, there are people like Natha whose grim lives are not even worth the cost of our cinema ticket… or that absurd, non-functional water pump he is given by a local leader.
The manipulative, mean, heartless media comes out of this looking and smelling like excreta - tatti.
That may have been the whole idea. Right , Aamir??

34 comments:

Theyoginme said...

Sounds like a movie worth watching...but im hundreds of miles away from the closest theater in California.

Shaina said...

When Aamir can just about pull off playing a student at 45 or something, this can safely be called as child's play!

krunal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tariq said...

Nice Blog .

Appu said...

The Rabbit And The Tortoise
- What a story

AbhiLaSH RuHeLa said...

why dont u write a blog without bashing anyone?

Devendra Gehlod "MAIKHAN" said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Divya Virmani said...

Ms. De,

One should not mock such sensitive issue we Indians are facing on a daily basis. Earlier as well you mocked the 'women beating' issue.

Farmer's commiting suicide is so common in India. I, myself belong from a small town and have heard/encountered such scenario's. It's very hard to live life when you know you are enormous debt.

And, I'm glad that this topic is out in the open. So what if Aamir publicized this movie? If it takes one man to shake the entire country on such delicate issues, so be it! Atleast, it's out in the open and world-wide known. I think we should take this positively that every single person in India and abroad is very well aquainted by this topic.

Now, we can hope for the change. Maybe not a lot but at least some...

Runtrp Mindus said...

http://www.youtubk.com/

Indian_Hottie said...

The best way to give a message is not to preach but to make you understand!

Another Kiran In NYC said...

I hope Aamir makes millions because atleast this puts the farmers crisis center stage. Film is a powerful medium for illiterate and literate fatcat urban India.

I am going to make immediate tracks to see this film.

Sidhusaaheb said...

Not a word about the writer and director of the film? Aamir is only the producer and, by his own admission, one who interfered little in the film-making process.

Sidhusaaheb said...

Here's a journalist's take:

http://ibnlive.in.com/blogs/rajengarabadu/707/61976/peepli-live-does-a-reality-check-for-tv-journalism.html

Devendra Gehlod "MAIKHAN" said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shadan said...

very 'chutnidar' article

Priya said...

The journos are pathetic and the news channels are no less than the daily soaps of Ekta Kapoor(Full of Drama). Meanwhile we take this article as a publicity campaign for the movie(as after reading the blog a lot are interested in watching it) and farmer suicide as a common thing in India.

So it's a good gain for amir and farmers only can revolt down the street burning tractors and get ready to give up their lives.

Siddhartha Prakash said...

I liked the movie. Amir deserves the credit for such creativity.
We must keep in mind that he is an artist not a politician or a Samaaj Sevak and he has done good work.

*Aham* said...

i should admit.. i dont like aamir - the actor. but Aamir - The Strategist... WAAAAOOOO..

he is the pukka juaari of tinsel town. he knows which move to make and when. i havent seen peepli live, so will reserve my comments. but by the people running-rural setting waala trailer it looked like a "Homage to Priyadarshan"

and the chamaat to the media is well appreciated, much that he uses teh same media to propagate his film...

film is a great medium for social issues, wonder though if aamir's intention was to make money or speak of social issues here.

still... i believe..
life without F is a lie. :) F = Films.

Gulshan said...

Hey Shobha,

Did you see Aisha? since everyone is happily bashing you I thought of adding some mirch masala to your woes :)

I kinda liked teh movie and so did all my friends and SOnam was good... WIll wait your thoughts...

as always loads of love
Gulshan

Delhi Goon said...

Hi Ms.De, just saw you on Headlines Today. Great job, every word you said was true and resonates with the masses.

Deserve before Desire! Those are words which very few politicians will understand.

These politicians think that we are all fools and that they can rob the Tax Payers' money at will. The only thing they deserve are XXXXXXXX and XXXXX!

They are increasing TAXES, FUEL prices and prices of what not. They are using OUR HARD EARNED MONEY to pay for all their luxuries while the common man is flushed down the gutter.

Soon you and I will be paying AIR TAX for breathing and LIFE TAX because we are still alive.

Not only are the politicians alienating the common people, they are failing to realize that the Common Man is becoming more militant by the day. You only need to look around you to realize this, but from the glass towers of the politicians all the truth gets reflected.

Anil Kumar said...

""Did they go into instant denial (“This isn’t me! It’s that other bitch!”).""

Your comment about Sluts in TV media being highlighted in this movie is forcing me to watch this movie. I havent seen movies for almost a decade and stopped watching them with the arrival of sluts like Kareena Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen, mallika and others who were more interested in showing smooching scenes and play the game of Ch....Ch...i with their male counterparts instead of focussing on improving their mediocre acting abilites.

Media is using these movies clippings to erode the morality in India and hence increasing the most heinous crimes against women in this country.

I hope TV news channels will broadcast the clips from movie where the TRUE colours of MEDIA are exposed.

Water Engineer said...

Believe it or not. Like it or not. But in some states there is a definite policy of putting premium on farmers' suicide. Immidiate benefits : waiver of all loans, a "compensation" of 1.5 lakh, job to a dependent etc. It is a very prifitable business. Old dies of natural death, and hang him by neck. Share the loot with police and others who matter. You still make a packet PLUS a govt. JOB!!


How many of old farmers might have been killed and shown as suicides, only God knows.

And why is it that young farmers do not commit suicide? why only those above 60?

In India there are 1,20,000 suicides. 26% are by salaried persons, 16% by farmers!!

Reason is common. Taken loans much beyond their repaying capacity.

cmpershad said...

"The joke doing the rounds is : all that Aamir touches, including 'tatti' ( excreta) turns to gold."

so no difference between millionaire slumdog's tatti or peepli's :)

Nick said...

Making movies too can be somebody's way of making a living. If you manage to ace what you do then things can turn into gold. What really caught my interest was the very openly talked about link between media, worthless politicians and perhaps celebrities. Apart from that I think that any story comes out of a human head and is ticked off or inspired by something no matter how big or small it is. In the end it isn't the exact thruth and sometimes the truth is told creatively. Its surprising that there are so many news channels in India nowdays and at some point an individual's conciouns speaks to themselves. If there are worthless journos out there then I am not surprised. It isn't possible either that a 2.5 hr movie represents an entire industry. The dead farmers and journos is simply a foil for a movie script and doesn't mean that all farmers are dead! Same was the case with Madhur Bhandarkar's Page3 & Fashion not every celebrity or fashion model is vain, involved in child molestation or high on drugs (I hope not!)

王辛江淑萍康 said...

知識可以傳授,智慧卻不行。每個人必須成為他自己。............................................................

Chanz said...

I loved the movie...

shafinaaz said...

I managed to see Peepli at the Durban Int Film Fest here in SA; if you close your eyes, nandita malik even souNDS like barkha dutt!
Well done on a necessary genocide, Aamir Khan!

Buzzintown Blogger said...

hi

@Kunal well said........seeing this movie all are talking about poor farmers and all of a sudden are concerned bout plight of farmers but d pt is will the farmers really benefit out of it? Sab log r gagaa bout Aamir will he give his earnings as charity to those farmers only?

Regards
movies in Mumbai
movies in Hyderabad
movies in New Delhi
movies in Bangalore

ms said...

aiyee shapath, mz de! some one makes a movie about a serious issue but no one is aware of it until you write a review! we only believe what we see in cinema, so unless someone makes a movie about naxalmurders, CWG scams, sonia being italian, mayawati being...mayawati, mamata and the naxalnexus - it is not real! i will see "peoplee - jive", if not for the content at the very least, for the scenic feast of extreme poverty : the romantic swirls of smoke emnating from the rustic cooking fires,the despair that shines forth from exhausted eyes and i am not talking about the starcast, no! i am talking about the actual farmers who were interviewed by the media about why they were agitating in UP!! i want to compare the reel offering to the real offering. you see, i only understood the game of cricket after "log on" and the contribution of the freedom fighters after "rang de, Basanti" - all these years of black&white patriotic songs on doordarshan were quite useless. so, i commend you for showing your fans/followers/detractors what a load of scrap all these altruistic motives of movie makers are. the only way to tell *hit from shinola is to actually smell it. you smell bad, mr peoplee- jive"!

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陳嘉容 said...

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Joseph said...

BUT IN ONE WAY ISNT IT GOOD THAT SOMEONE IS TAKING INITIATIVE.

Joseph
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Pinky Says said...

Loved your post! Hats off to Aamir for showcasing such issues and at the same time entertaining us. Atleast he has the sensibility of making meaningful films a vast difference from the typical no brainer bollywood fare that is churned out.

Would be interesting to know your views on Aisha, Sonam's next release after IHLS! :) Oh, dont we love masala...:P

sonal said...

For once i am not angry at Krunals comments!!Yes , Divya and like some others have mentioned, this movie does in a subversive way highlight the problems of the farmers, but will it do them any good eventually??