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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Aamir's movie makes chutney of desi media...!!!

Watched the movie yesterday night and could not stop admiring it... this piece below is by Shobhaa De... thought it would be easy to copy paste her version... totally agree to it...

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??

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