Peepli Live Review

The consensus at BombayMusic.com was that I "must see Aamir Khan's latest film."  Technically speaking this is not an Aamir Khan film- he produced, not directed, it.  But as one would expect from a film touched by the genius behind Three Idiots, this is a funny, enlightening, challenging, and thought-provoking film about the plight of poor farmers in India.

The plot revolves around two farmers in a village named Peepli about to lose their ancestral farm because they've defaulted on a loan.  Left with few other options, they discuss which of the two of them should commit suicide (believing that if a farmer commits suicide his family will be paid by the government, allowing the surviving family members to keep the farm).  Despite the grim setup, their decision making process is rife with humor, as is the literal and figurative media circus that ensues.  There are some fabulously hilarious parodies of the press and the inanity of Indian politics is on full display.  
Image from:  http://www.peeplilivethefilm.com/images.html
(Natha, the farmer contemplating suicide, is garlanded and given a TV by a rival politician eager to capitalize on his plight.  It is unclear what a television will do to help Natha.)

This is the type of movie that leaves you feeling blessed for the things you have: reliable electricity, modern plumbing, food on the table, and a roof over your head.  The film is a well-crafted look at the issue of subsistence farming in India and farmer suicides, and the movie tackles a challenging topic with sensitivity and humor.  Three stars.