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Peepli Live

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Peepli Live is a 2010 Indian satirical comedy film that explores the topic of "farmer suicides" and the subsequent media and political response It is written and directed by Anusha Rizvi in her directorial debut, and produced by Aamir Khan Productions The film stars Naya Theatre company member Omkar Das Manikpuri as well as Naseeruddin Shah, Raghubir Yadav, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Shalini Vatsa and Malaika Shenoy along with a number of newcomers Peepli Live, distributed by UTV Motion Pictures, was released on 13 August 2010

Peepli Live was India's official entry for the 83rd Academy Awards Best Foreign Film category although it was not nominated


  • 1 Plot
  • 2 Cast
  • 3 Production
  • 4 Release
  • 5 Critical reception
  • 6 Box office
  • 7 Awards and nominations
  • 8 Soundtrack
    • 81 Track listing
  • 9 Controversies
  • 10 See also
  • 11 References
  • 12 External links


Natha Das ManikPuri Omkar Das Manikpuri, better known as Natha, is a poor farmer from the village of Peepli in "Mukhya Pradesh", who struggles to farm enough money for his family made up of his elder brother, Budhia Das Manikpuri Raghubir Yadav, his wife, Dhaniya Shalini Vatsa and his ailing mother, Amma Farookh Zafar, who spends most of her time lying down and screaming at Natha and Dhaniya Natha and Budhia often pretend to go out farming when actually they save up whatever money they have to buy alcohol This has left the whole family famished and now the banks are demanding repayment of loans or else the family will be stripped off their land and house In the meantime, the Mukhya Pradesh Government have called a by-election due to continuous criticism of their blind eye towards the desperate poverty that surrounds India's largest state The opposition Apna Dal Party believe they have a chance to form the government in this election as the people have lost faith in the long-serving Sammaan Party and its Chief Minister, Ram Babu Yadav Jugal Kishore who, along with Federal Agriculture Minister, Saleem Kidwai Naseeruddin Shah, believes in the industrialisation of rural areas

To save his land and to save his family from becoming homeless, Natha, encouraged by his brother, decides to commit suicide after he attends a session with the rural headmen for help and they suggest him that committing suicide is a good way to get money waived, after which his family will receive heavy compensation for his death While Natha and his brother are discussing the same at a local tea stall, this news gets reported by Rakesh, a local reporter from Peepli This report then gets picked up and highlighted by the national English news channels and reaches the Chief Minister The media starts surrounding Peepli sensing the possibility of a sensational suicide story One ITVN journalist particularly keen on filming the event of Natha's death is Daytime Presenter, Nandita Malik Malaika Shenoy She joins the local reporter Rakesh Kapoor Nawazuddin Siddiqui and takes desperate measures to interview Natha and his family on the subject of Natha's suicide However things get more tricky when rival Hindi news channel, "Bharat Live" finds out about Natha and Peepli The news channel clashes with ITVN and each try to film Natha's death in their own manner The Sammaan Party also soon discover Natha's plans and try to buy off Natha with sops to prevent him from committing suicide Opposition parties like the Apna Dal and the CPI also get involved and plan to use Natha as a path to power in the elections Peepli soon becomes the centre of attention across Mukhya Pradesh

Nandita's frantic attempts to interview Natha get worse when Rakesh does not find Natha or anyone else in Peepli to interview She seems unimpressed with Rakesh's compassionate stand towards Natha and believes that as reporters their duty lies in reporting and following the news and nothing else On the other hand, "Bharat Live" continues to be successful in their attempts to interview Yet as time goes on, Natha does not die Meanwhile, the Sammaan Party realise that if Natha commits suicide, they will lose the elections The rural headmen secretly kidnap Natha and hold to ransom for money from the opposition Yet their plans are foiled when Rakesh discovers Deepak and his men holding Natha hostage at a Peepli barn A rush occurs when people from Apna Dal, the CPI, ITVN, Bharat Live and Peepli villagers all rush to find Natha In the confusion, a spillage accident from a Petromax lamp sets fire to the barn, which explodes and Rakesh is killed The Government officials mistake Rakesh for Natha and refuse to pay Natha's family the compensation money due to the death being an accident Meanwhile, Natha is in fact alive and flees to Gurgaon and is seen working as a daily labourer in the construction industry

His family loses their land to the bank


  • Omkar Das Manikpuri as Natha
  • Raghubir Yadav as Budhia
  • Malaika Shenoy as Nandita Malik
  • Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Rakesh
  • Naseeruddin Shah as Saleem Kidwai, the Agriculture Minister
  • Aamir Bashir as Vivek
  • Anoop Trevedi as Thanedar Jugan
  • Ishita Vyas as Reporter
  • Shalini Vatsa as Dhaniya
  • Girish Karnad
  • Farookh Zafar as Amma
  • Vishal O Sharma as Kumar Deepak
  • Sitaram Panchal as Bhai Thakur


Peepli Live began as a script written by NDTV journalist Anusha Rizvi called The Fallen In 2004 Rizvi asked Aamir Khan to read her script and, although he initially refused as he was preoccupied with shooting Mangal Pandey:The Rising, he eventually decided to finance the film after she described the plot to him In an interview, Khan explains the meaning of the movie title:"When we were looking for the right title before we began the publicity and promotions of the film, we came up with Peepli Live Peepli is the village that film is set in, the "live" part is meant to indicate:here is a story that is happening in Peepli that the filmmaker is bringing to you live That's why it's Peepli Live" Peepli Live was filmed on various locations in Madhya Pradesh such as Bhopal, Indore, Tikamgarh, Khurai as well as in New Delhi Maxima Basu designed the costumes aptly capturing the rural essence of the film According to Aamir Khan, many of the actors are Adivasis from the sub-urban area of Bhopal, Bhadwai in Madhya Pradesh Other cast members are from playwright Habib Tanvir's theatre troupe Naya Theatre


Peepli Live competed in the Sundance Film Festival, the first film from India to achieve this feat With support of media billionaire Keyur Patel of Fuse Global who is major hollywood financier "Peepli Live" was selected at Sundance Film Festival and his relationship with Robert Redford provided a great platform there It received an 'A' adult certificate in India for language use The movie was picked up by speciality German distribution company Rapid Eye Movies for a special screening at the Berlin International Film Festival It was also named the Best First Feature Film at the 31st Durban International Film Festival in South Africa In the United Kingdom, the film was released on 24 September Peepli Live reportedly recovered its cost before its release itself

Critical reception

Peepli Live received positive reviews Subhash K Jha, film critic and author of The Essential Guide to Bollywood, describes Peepli Live as "a work of damning ramifications" He further states that, "To most of us out here sitting in the auditorium, farmers' suicide is just a headline Read, regretted and then put to bed Peeply Live is that savagely raw and hurtful wake-up call for the conscience which does not mince words" Nikhat Kazmi of the Times of India gave the film three and a half out of five stars stating," How smart can Indian cinema get Exhilarating answer:Very smart And that's the bottomline of Peepli Live, a small little film, that showcases the real India without glossing over the contradictions of our fumbling-bumbling democracy or getting overtly sentimental about garibi and the attendant grime that goes with it Pratim D Gupta of The Telegraph wrote "Peepli Live demands to be absorbed and not just watched over the weekend" and praised the director Anusha Rizvi – "she has the gift of the dark humour satire ala Shyam Benegal and in her uncompromised shooting style, she shows the fire of Mira Nair" Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave it four and a half out of five stars and argues that "the conceptwould instinctively translate into a serious, thought-provoking film But Peeplitakes a grim and solemn issue, turns it into a satire, garnishes it with populist sentiment and makes a far greater impact than a mere documentary, had it tackled the burning issue In fact, like all Aamir Khan films, Peeplimarries realism with a winning box-office formula most brilliantly" Mayank Shekhar of The Hindustan Times gave the film four out of five stars arguing that "the satire is irresistible; the subtext, compelling And yet neither shows itself up in any form of self-seriousness The comic writing is immaculately inspired" Noyon Jyoti Parasara of Yahoo gave the film 35 out of five and said, "Peepliis a class act and director Anusha Rizvi and producer Aamir Khan could take a bow for working this into reality" Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN also gave it three and a half out of five stars, calling it "a scathing satire on the country's apathy towards the rural class, and specifically towards farmers, Peepli Live employs a comic tone to tell a serious story The witty script turns Natha into something of a local celebrity, who draws out the true character and motivations of all those who cross his path" Mathures Paul of The Statesman gave the film 4 out of 5 stars noting that, "Anusha Rizvi demolishes successfully whatever little faith we had in the political process Peepli Live is entertaining and inspiring"

As of 2 October 2010, Peepli Live has received a rating of 83% from critics 19 fresh and 4 rotten reviews at Rotten Tomatoes On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 69 out of 100, based on 12 reviews, indicating "Generally Favorable" reviews

Box office

According to Box Office India, Peepli Live took a good start and did a business of ₹40 million US$620,000 on its first day The film collected ₹2991 million US$47 million by the end of its third week and was declared a super hit Overseas, the film opened to a limited release at 64 places in the US, and was ranked third, grossing $350,054 in the domestic market and $700,000 worldwide in its opening weekend

Awards and nominations

2011 Filmfare Awards
  • Nominated:Filmfare award for Best Film
  • Nominated:Filmfare award for Best Costume Design
2011 Star Screen Awards
  • Winner :Star Screen Award for Best Ensemble Cast
6th Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards
  • Winner :Apsara Award for Best Story – Anusha Rizvi
  • Nominated :Apsara Award for Best Performance in a Comic Role – Omkar Das Manikpuri
  • Nominated :Apsara Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role Male – Raghubir Yadav
  • Nominated :Apsara Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role Female – Farukh Jaffer
2011 Zee Cine Awards
  • Nominated :Best Film
  • Nominated :Best Comedian – Omkar Das Manikpuri
5th Asian Film Awards
  • Winner :Best Composer - Indian Ocean
  • Nominated :Best Film - Aamir Khan
  • Nominated :Best Newcomer - Omkar Das Manikpuri
  • Nominated :Best Editor - Hemanti Sarkar


Peepli Live
Soundtrack album by Indian Ocean, Raghubir Yadav, Nageen Tanvir and Ram Sampath
GenreFeature film soundtrack

The music is composed by Indian Ocean, an Indian band and Ram Sampath

Track listing

1"Chola Maati Ke Ram"Nageen TanvirNageen Tanvir3:14
2"Des Mera"Indian Ocean, Sanjeev SharmaIndian Ocean4:55
3"Des Mera – I"Indian Ocean, Sanjeev SharmaIndian Ocean4:55
4"Mehngai Dayain"Brij Mandal, BhadwaiRaghubir Yadav, Brij Mandal, Bhadwai3:57
5"Zindagi Se Darte Ho"Indian OceanIndian Ocean7:30
6"Mehngai Dayain" RemixRam SampathRaghubir Yadav4:37


Peepli Live is the subject of a few controversies VJAS Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti, the Nagpur-based farmer's advocacy group, asked the Maharashtra government to ban the film due to its depiction of farmer suicidesKishor Tiwari, the president of VJAS, stated:"TV serial 'Bairi Piya' has shown that debt-trapped Vidarbha farmers are selling daughters to clear their debt, while 'Peepli Live' is far from reality and an insult to poor farmers of Vidarbha who have been victims of globalization and wrong policies of the state"

In addition, according to the Hindustan Times, "folk singer Rama Joshi alleges that a song Chola Mati Ke Ram, which has been used in the film, does not give credit to Gangaram Siwar, a celebrated folk singer of Chhattisgarh and the original lyricist of the folk song" In response, Nageen Tanwir, who sang the song in the film, stated:"The song, Chola Maati Ke Ram, has been composed by Gangaram Siwar in Chhattisgarh, but the Habib Tanvir theatre group has officially purchased rights for the song So I don't understand why people from Chhattisgarh are asking for their due again"

Also, according to John Travolta, Peepli Live was inspired by 1997 English film Mad City In an interview with The Hindu, he stated that he was astonished to learn that India's official entry for the Oscars this year, Peepli Live, was inspired by Mad City, his best film as an actor

The film's storyline also shares similarity to Malayalam film Pakal Its director M A Nishad says:"The storyline of the Bollywood movie Peepli Live has a similar theme to Pakal, which was released much before the Hindi film The difference was in the narrative style"

The song "Mehngai dayan khaye jat hai" was challenged in court by the Congress party alleging that Sonia Gandhi was called as "Dayan" female ghost in the movie However, the argument did not sustain and the case was dismissed by the court holding that Sonia Gandhi was not responsible for the rising inflation in India

See also

  • List of submissions to the 83rd Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film
  • List of Indian submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film


  1. ^ "Peepli Live Recovers Production Costs" Thaindian News 12 August 2010 
  2. ^ https://wwwboxofficeindiacom/moviephpmovieid=83
  3. ^ "'Peepli Live' gets strong reception at Berlin film fest" The Economic Times 18 February 2010 Archived from the original on 5 July 2010 
  4. ^ Bhushan, Nyay 24 September 2010 "'Peepli Live' is India's Oscar entry" The Hollywood Reporter Retrieved 4 October 2010 
  5. ^ "'Peepli Live' is India's official entry for Oscars 2011" NDTV 24 September 2010 Retrieved 24 September 2010 
  6. ^ "9 Foreign Language Films Continue to Oscar Race" Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Retrieved 19 January 2011 
  7. ^ Sanjukta Sharma 24 July 2010 "Aamir Khan:The box-office economist" Mint Retrieved 31 July 2010 
  8. ^ "Bringing Peepli into Our Lives:an interview with Aamir Khan" Asia Pacific Arts 13 August 2010 
  9. ^ "Aamir's Peepli Live going to Sundance film fest" Sify Indo-Asian News Service 7 December 2009 Retrieved 19 January 2010 
  10. ^ Pallab Bhattacharya, New Delhi 18 July 2010 "Aamir casts magic once more" The Daily Star Retrieved 12 August 2010 
  11. ^ "Aamir's Peepli Live goes to Sundance fest" The Times of India 5 December 2009 Archived from the original on 13 December 2009 Retrieved 19 January 2010 
  12. ^ Joshi, Tushar 13 January 2010 "Why Aamir's next gets an A rating from Censor Board" Mid-daycom Retrieved 12 August 2010 
  13. ^ "Peepli Live to Release in Germany in 2010 Q3" DearCinemacom 
  14. ^ "Peepli Live named Best First Feature Film" Hindustan Times 3 August 2010 Retrieved 9 September 2010 
  15. ^ "Peepli Live set to hit screens in Britain on Sept 24" Hindustan Times Retrieved 25 September 2010 
  16. ^ "Postcards For Aamir From 500 'Peepli' Villages" Thaindiancom Retrieved 12 August 2010 
  17. ^ Jha, Subhash 14 August 2010 "Subhash K Jha speaks about Peepli Live" Bollywood Hungama Retrieved 24 September 2010 
  18. ^ Kazmi, Nikhat 12 August 2010 "Peepli Live Review" The Times of India Retrieved 13 August 2010 
  19. ^ Pratim D Gupta 14 August 2010 "Die Hard" The Daily Telegraph Calcutta, India Retrieved 19 September 2010 
  20. ^ Adarsh, Taran 10 August 2010 "Review" Bollywood Hungama Retrieved 24 September 2010 
  21. ^ Shekhar, Mayank "Peepli Live Review" Hindustan Times Retrieved 13 August 2010 
  22. ^ Shekhar, Mayank "Peepli Live Review" Yahoo! Retrieved 13 August 2010 
  23. ^ Masand, Rajeev "Peepli Live Review" IBN Retrieved 13 August 2010 
  24. ^ "Fills a hungry paunch" The Statesman Retrieved 13 August 2010 
  25. ^ "Peepli Live 2010" Rotten Tomatoes Retrieved 24 September 2010 
  26. ^ "Peepli Live reviews" Metacritic Retrieved 24 September 2010 
  27. ^ "PeepliGood Start Help Dull" Box Office India Retrieved 21 August 2010 
  28. ^ "The Box Office Clout of Brand Aamir" Box Office India Retrieved 16 August 2010 
  29. ^ "Box Office:All India 2010" Box Office India Retrieved 25 September 2010 
  30. ^ "Arthouse Audit:'Get Low' Gets Up" Box Office Mojo Retrieved 21 August 2010 
  31. ^ "Peepli Live Does Well Overseas" Box Office India Retrieved 21 August 2010 
  32. ^ http://wwwsifycom/movies/nominations-for-56th-filmfare-awards-2010-news-bollywood-lbolVQcggffhtml
  33. ^ "Winners of 17th Annual Star Screen Awards 2011" Bollywood Hungama Retrieved 7 January 2011 
  34. ^ "Nominations for 6th Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards" Bollywood Hungama Retrieved 23 January 2011 
  35. ^ "Winners of 6th Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards" Bollywood Hungama Retrieved 23 January 2011 
  36. ^ "Nominations for Zee Cine Awards 2011" Bollywood Hungama Retrieved 7 January 2011 
  37. ^ http://wwwasianfilmawardsasia/peoples-choice-awards/5th-afa-peoples-choice-awards/
  38. ^ "Vidarbha farmers demand 'Peepli' ban" The Times of India 15 August 2010 Retrieved 19 August 2010 
  39. ^ "Peepli Live in yet another controversy" Hindustan Times Retrieved 13 August 2010 
  40. ^ Ranjan Das Gupta 10 October 2010 "Hollywood needs Bollywood more" The Hindu Chennai, India 
  41. ^ Vijay George 19 November 2010 "A lucky charm" The Hindu Chennai, India Retrieved 19 November 2010 

External links

  • Official website
  • Peepli Live – Aamir Khan Productions
  • Official trailer - PVR Cinemas
  • Peepli Live on IMDb
  • Peepli Live at Rotten Tomatoes
  • Peepli Live at Box Office Mojo
  • Peepli Live at AllMovie

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