Rating: 3.5/5 Stars (Three-and-a-half-stars)
Star cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Ileana D’Cruz, Saurabh Shukla, Bhola Raj Sapkota and Akash Khurana.
What’s Good: The spell-binding direction; the wonderful performances; the cinematography and the music.
What’s Bad: The movie stretches a bit; the plot gets convoluted in between.
Loo Break: None.
Watch or Not?: Barfi! is a movie that will tickle you and bring tears to your eyes with equal ease. Don’t miss this sweet story.
There has to be something really special about a movie with two of the lead characters disabled in some way and the third always missing something in her life, and yet it never bogs down the movie or the story. Barfi! is lovely in a touching way that is difficult to define.
Narrated by different people in Murphy a.k.a Barfi’s (Ranbir Kapoor) life, the movie starts with Shruti (Ileana DCruz) and Barfi’s romance. Engaged to be married to her college sweetheart, Shruti moves to Darjeeling with her parents. But here she falls for the charms of the mischievous and loveable Barfi. Barfi may be deaf-and-dumb, but he’s quite a handful for his father and the local policeman (Saurabh Shukla).
There’s also the sort-of-romance between Barfi and Jhilmil (Priyanka Chopra). After being hidden away from society by her parents in a special home because of her autism, Jhilmil is brought back when her parents want a share of the grandfather’s heritage. While dealing with Jhilmil proves increasingly difficult for her parents, Barfi knows to handle her well and genuinely cares for her.
Their paths intertwine in somewhat complicated ways with a journey to Calcutta, a bank robbery and a more-sweet-than-bitter love triangle.
Barfi! Review: Script Analysis
It’s difficult to have two disabled characters and not portray their stereotype or make the audience feel pity for them. But Anurag Basu does it skillfully with the script and story. He builds the characters so finely that you come to love each and every one of them by the end of the movie. One grouse would be that of the whole kidnapping scenario: maybe the movie would be less complicated by it because it confuses a bit, especially with the non-linear narrative. While we can easily understand why Jhilmil would fall for Barfi, it’s not really clear why he starts loving Jhilmil so much. The length of the movie also could have been reduced. Sanjeev Datta’s dialogues are alright.
Barfi! Review: Star Performances
We just have to watch Ranbir Kapoor get better with each film, and his role as Murphy/Barfi is no exception. Without a single dialogue (if you don’t count ‘Barfi!’ as a dialogue), Ranbir masterfully smiles through his pain, gives cops a chase through town and frets over his lovers. Priyanka Chopra is very good as Jhilmil. Ranbir and Priyanka both deserve credit for not going over the top with their acting and keeping it quite natural. Ileana D’Cruz does well as Shruti, though her character could have been developed better. Saurabh Shukla is a gem as the irate police officer who chases Barfi throughout his career. Bhola Raj Sapkota and Akash Khurana are adorable as Barfi’s friend and father respectively.
Barfi! Review: Direction, Editing & Music
Anurag Basu is one master for taking such a story and extracting such wonderful performances. The use of light in the film has been done very well. Ravi Varma’s cinematography with the light and colours and festivals is excellent. Pritam’s music is very good but it reminds you of the soundtrack of In The Mood For Love very often. Akiv Ali’s editing is very fine.
Barfi! Review: The Last Word
Barfi! leaves you with that warm, cuddly, magical feeling with a few tears to match. It’s really worth a watch.
Barfi! releases on 14th September, 2012