Any movie, which has Aamir Khan as part of its cast or as a producer involved in the film will always attract a lot of media attention and hype. This bollywood superstar has established a reputation of being a perfectionist in every aspect of his professional life. Whether he is acting or producing, each movie has his unmistakable stamp on it and somehow he seems to have a good idea of what will click at the box office. It happened with Lagaan. It happened with Rang De Basanti. And it happened with Taare Zameen Par. Hell, it even happened with the typical romcom, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. Will the Aamir Khan magic happen with Peepli Live?
Peepli Live is a film being produced by Aamir khan and directed by debutant director Anusha Rizwi. Rizwi, a television journalist, has ventured into the field of film direction with a low budget film based on the villages of India and with a cast which is not part of Indian mainstream cinema actors.
The story, written by Anusha Rizwi herself, is a satire about the lives of poverty stricken Indian villagers who tend to become puppets in the hands of politicians and the media, and their own feelings and concerns get lost in the cacophony of “breaking news”.
Naya Theatre company member Omkar Das Manikpuri stars as the main, hapless, protagonist Natha, ably supported by veteran actor Raghubir Yadav as his brother Budhia. The female lead is Malaika Shenoy , who plays a vain selfish TV reporter seeking nothing more than the story to beat all stories, with little concern for the leading characters in it.
The film is competing at the Sundance Film Festival, the first Bollywood film to do so. It has received rave reviews from the few people who have managed to get a look at the first screening of this film. It has also been acquired by Rapid Eye Movies, a German distribution company for a special screening at the Berlin International film festival.
Watch [intlink id="1452" type="post"]the trailer of Peepli Live [/intlink]to get an idea of what the movie is about.
With this kind of build-up and with Aamir Khan as a producer, will this be another Aamir Khan success story?
There are few factors which make you wonder whether this can be considered to be a foregone conclusion.
Low budget films tend to remain low budget money grosser in India. There have been many which have proven to be an exception to the rule such Khosla Ka Ghosla and Bheja Fry in the last few years, and but there have also been a larger number which have fallen on the wayside.
A satire about the Indian villagers and their exploitation by politicians and the accompanying media frenzy is definitely not a run-of-the-mill story. It has few occasions for dancing around the trees and there does not seem to be even a whiff of romance in the film.
But above all, let us not forget the fact that this is an Aamir Khan film. He is a master at making great movies, and once again he is likely to have his pulse on what the audience wants. Just having his name on the masthead is enough to get a great initial response, and if the awards and initial review are anything to go by, after that the film will be able to stand on its own merits.