Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, introducing Ileana D Cruz, Saurabh Shukla and Rupa Ganguly
Director: Anurag Basu
Rating: Three and a half stars
An effortless Ranbir going into a muted silence throughout two and half hours, an innocent Ilena D Cruz and a natural autist character essayed by Priyanka Chopra gives you a sweet, mouthwatering, beautiful and oscar-nominated Barfi lovingly baked by Anurag Basu. Basu’s Barfi is a sheer delight as Ranbir tempts the audience with his grand father Raj Kapoor acts coupled with a sweet Charlie Chaplin’s jig. He is simply endearing and delivers an award winning performance. In fact, both Ranbir and Priyanka will sweep all the awards this year. At one shot:: Barfi is a fun-filled movie made from the heart and is an amazing journey in the life of three characters sharing love, joy, happiness and sadness.
Barfi is the story or love storyof well…Barfi (Ranbir), Shrruti (Barfi)and Jhilmil (Priyanka). Barfi is the care-free young guy whom Shruti meets and fall in love. Enter the world of Barfii whose joy knows no bound. His speech and hearing incapacity do not belie his happiness. As fate has it, he seperates from Shruti who do not find any happiness with the man he marries not for love but for dire necessity. Barfi meets Jhilmil who is an autist and they eventually fall in love and embark on a roller-coaster ride. They loved each other without thinking of the consequences and this is what makes them sail through.
Ranbir is simply fantastic and not once, you feel something is lacking in terms of not being able to speak throughout the film. His body language and facial expression speaks throughout the film. His performance evokes admiration and he plays his part with gusto. He reminds you of his iconic grandfather, the legendary Raj Kapoor and he does a Charlie Chaplin in his own inimitable style. It is not a rip-off of Chaplin but he pays a fitting tribute to the legend. Priyanka lives through Jhilmil and plays an autist patient with aplomb and display innocence. She is charming and endearing and the audience is already loving her. She is simply fab. Debutant Ileana plays the classy and rich Shruti who falls prey to the charm of Barfi. She is effortless and natural in front of the camera and will surely fetch herself the best debutant award, if not the best supporting actress. The main lead are ably supported by Saurabh Shukla (superb as the cop running after Barfi). He displays excellent chemistry with Ranbir as they play the adventures of Charlie Chaplin. Rupa Ganguly is charming as Shruti’s mother while Ashish Vidyarthi is competent. Jishu Sengupta is endearing.
Flaws: The narrative gets slack a times, especially in the first half and at times, in the second half. The director could have shortened its length but it is a matter of creative discretion. I thought that the brand new concept of Ranbir not speaking at all could have worked against the him. Alas! It didn’t. So can it be regarded as a flaw? It is a matter of appreciation. Plus, a series of situational make it difficult for the common man to react.
Anurag Basu should be commended for making Barfi a passionate affair. I admire his zeal and love for film-making and making Barfi so believable. Certainly, it is a lesson in film-making through the shots taken. It is an intelligent film and conveys a deep message: Enjoy every moment of life. What you go through in life is no good enough reason to prevent you from enjoying life. All the main characters are so relatable. The music of Pritam is addictive and soulful. Barfi is certainly India’s answer to the Oscar and is a well-deserved entry for India. It is not just a 75-mm screen experience of aesthetic value but a delectable Barfi. Both Ranbir and Priyanka have the guts to experiment with their characters and it’s an award-winning performances. Both actors will sweep all possible awards. Barfi make us dream and why not: We have the legitimate right to dream and believe that Barfi will grab the oscar this time. Also, Barfi has been aesthetically shot and the close up and magnificence of the picturesque local is a treat to our eyes. There is something poetic shoot and cinematograpphy. It’s Barfi, a sweet experience.
It is an immense joy that Barfi has been short selected and will be India’s entry to the Oscar this year. It can only leave lovers of good cinema spellbound and reaffirm our faith in good cinema. Barfi is an education roller-coaster and send a strong message: Differently-abled people have the right to enjoy life as much as non differently-abled. We don’t need to sympathise with their lives and they don’t need that. Rather, they should be treated an normal beings. They are as normal as we are. Cinema is a powerful medium to both entertain and educate us and Barfi does that rather eloquantly. Very few movies in the recent times has been able to do that and we count, Black, Taare Zameen Par and now Barfi. India’s entry to the oscar is one of the most deserved entry in recent times. We only pin our hopes such kind of movies will find favour among audience and more gutsy film-makers will come up with such challenging subjects and treat them in the most sensitive, delectable and intelligent manner. Kudos to Anurag Basu, Ranbir Kapoor and priyanka Chopra. I hail this movie as a product of cinematic excellence and rate it among the best ever made during the past few years.