Starring: Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Ileana D’Cruz, Rupa Ganguly
Direction: Anurag Basu
Production: Ronnie Screwvala, Siddharth Roy Kapoor
Barfi caught the eye thanks to its poetic trailer and beautiful songs. Ranbir’s deaf and mute act, Priyanka’s autistic character and Ileana’s Bollywood debut ensured that Barfi carried huge pre-release hype. Director Anurag Basu is also known for his meaningful movies despite his previous failure, Kites.
Set majorly in Darjeeling, Barfi centers on the lead character that spreads happiness in whatever he does. Despite being deaf and mute, his charisma and cute antics, just floor the women. Shruti (Ileana), engaged to another rich man, is bowled over by Barfi when she comes to Darjeeling but their love doesn’t bear fruition due to the obvious social and physical challenges that Barfi has. At that point, he also happens to give refuge to the autistic Jhilmil (Priyanka) who doesn’t have understanding parents. Barfi also has to constantly handle a policeman’s (played by Saurabh Shukla) pursuits for reasons ranging from petty theft to alleged kidnapping.
Does Barfi find true love, what happens to the two women in his life and whether he is allowed to live in peace by the police force and other influential people? Rush to a nearby theater to experience all this and more.
The initial romance track between Ranbir and Ileana is sheer poetry. Though there are traces of ‘The Notebook’, the director just sways you along with his presentation. The clock scene is one such gem.
The movie is also rich in comedy thanks to Ranbir’s amazing versatility at buffoonery. He is able to entertain hands-down with his Jim Carrey type antics. The kidnapping act at Jhilmil’s house, the chase scenes between Barfi and the policeman, the bank robbery, Jhilmil’s escapades with Barfi etc. are all replete with humor.
It takes tremendous guts for a top notch glam queen like Priyanka Chopra to go totally offbeat. A really tough role pulled off convincingly. She has pushed the bar higher for sure. Ileana has a dream debut and she turns out to be quite the charmer in the 1972 and 1978 scenes. Her large ‘bindi’ goes very well with her elegant sarees and she personifies a Bengali woman perfectly.
And the man Ranbir Kapoor is a true once in a lifetime performer. His ease at histrionics, emoting, entertaining, his charm, his looks etc. make him a total package. Barfi owes a lot of its class to this powerhouse performer who is now firmly on top of the actors’ honor list. He is among those rare favorites among both the men and women.
Barfi is also brilliant technically with all the departments working in perfect synergy to ensure the director’s vision being translated flawlessly. The movie’s BGM score is replete with violins, accordions, pianos and it just blows you away. In fact we have three people playing these instruments in the movie itself as the scenes play out. Recently, we had the 2011 French movie ‘The Artist’ which had a mesmerizing soundtrack. Now, Barfi is a worthy contender in the soundtrack department. Goosebumps galore at many places!
Pritam’s songs are again top-notch. They gel with the script, are rich in melody, instrumentation and perfectly complement the movie. This is a landmark in Pritam’s career as well.
Ravi Varman’s frames are picture perfect. The movie has a green, yellow color theme to symbolize vibrancy and happiness. The locations have also been captured in all their pristine beauty. A momentous show from the ace cinematographer!
And despite the movie having some physically challenged characters, there is hardly any scope for melodrama save some very intense scenes. Laudable!
On the downside, maybe we can point out its length and slow pace towards the climax.These are just minor blips in an otherwise noble attempt.
Once in a blue moon, arrives a magical movie that just blows you away with its sheer beauty and brilliance. This Anurag Basu creation, acted brilliantly by Ranbir Kapoor is one such must watch experience.