Just a quickie for this foreign film I caught a while back.
As a social satire, Anusha Rizvi's Peepli Live doesn't aim particularly high. Themes of the media's circus-like machinations and the downside of fame have been lampooned before, and better, but this modest effort is still mildly effective and enjoyable.
In the film, a poor farmer (Omkar Das Manikpuri) gets the idea to commit suicide in order to secure financial aid for his family. But when a reporter overhears this juicy tidbit, it's not long before our shy agriculturist becomes the centre of a ridiculous media storm, beset by opportunistic politicians looking to win the upcoming elections and by unscrupulous news networks frothing at the mouth for footage of a live suicide.
Manikpuri is quite droll as the humble farmer, a character written with easy-going wit. The film's ideas struggle a bit to surface from beneath the thick comic panache, but that doesn't make it any less pleasant.
This has become India's official submission for Best Foreign Language Film, but somehow I doubt the Foreign Film branch will go for something this light.
**1/2 out of ****