Sunday, August 22, 2010

Peepli [Live]

A rainy Sunday--perfect day for a movie. My friend Deirdra and I decided we would head to the Worcester area to see the new Aamir Khan productions--Peepli[live]. I had read interviews with Aamir, Deirdra had heard an interview on NPR--I had been wanting to see this movie, but with car issues and Alex needing the car to work inventory--I saw it as a near impossible objective. Well, Deirdra was just as intrigued by this movie as I was--so we headed off, fighting rain, accidents on the turnpike, and heavy traffic returning home from weekends.
As always, the Sunday matinee was pretty much deserted. I was surprized by the number of 'anglos' in the small crowd--though, there were enough Hindi speakers in the theater that they seemed to get some of the in jokes that the subtitles did not properly translate.

I could give you a synopsis of the plot-but it was more the ideas, concepts, and the statements made (overtly as well as covertly) about the press-not only in India but in the world. Natha and his brother Budhia are struggling to save the family farm--the bank refused the loan once again. The local politico suggests that maybe one of the brothers should consider suicide, since the government will pay reparations to families of those who die.
The story is really about how the local newspaper reporter--Rakesh--gets disillusioned by the 'big city' press.

As the story goes "Live"--and all the news folks descend on the small dusty village--everything gets its day on the news, and I mean everything!! goats, cranky mothers, the neighbors, the police force--everything gets a moment in the limelight. As the 'suicide watch' becomes a bit of a sideshow-Rakesh seems to feel that the real story is not being addressed. This movie is about 'the real story'. How many times do we turn on the news and see the mole hill rather than the mountain--the trivial story rather than the broader picture.

As Deirdra and I discussed the intricacies of the story, and how it effected us--she brought us a story that I had passed over in the newspaper that she thought was not appropriate for the local NPR station to cover. JDSalinger's toilet--and its recent sale! on that note--that's it, I can say no more about the movie--for it all comes down to toilets--in real life as well as in the movies.

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