Barfi! - Review
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Usually, 'sweet' films get overbearing and sticky because of the unreal overdose. But Barfi! carries the charm with such elegance and confidence that you can't but want to go along with it. It's not because the lead characters have handicaps that demand sympathy. The film takes you beyond the most obvious and endears you with the inherent charm and innocence these handicaps bring along with them.
So much so that it makes you wish the plot didn't manipulate and that it got rid of characters who take advantage of their disabilities, however noble their intentions. You wish they didn't take you into the real world that deviates from the sweetness. More so, because they look like aberrations from the unreal and fantasy world of Barfi (Ranbir Kapoor) and then Jhilmil (Priyanka Chopra).
Barfi! is as dreamy as a film can get. Ranbir and Priyanka play their characters so convincingly that you forget that the film is far from reality. Ileana D'Cruz looks lovely and bring her own share of grace. Just knowing our top-ranking 'stars' take on such challenging and risky roles is joy enough. But watching them give performances that make you forget their star status is way beyond expectations. You realize you were watching Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra when you step out of Barfi and Jhilmil's fairy tale story.
There are times when the romance doesn't seem romantic enough. But when characters cannot express their feelings in words, when there are things that cannot be said, it opens up a whole new world of beautiful questions. Question marks that Barfi represents in just one scene where he breaks down.
It is after you step out of the theater and your analytical brain takes over that you begin to wonder if Jhilmil was over-simplified. If it is indeed so easy to fall in love with an autistic woman? If it was necessary to bring in elements from the 'thriller' genre to this film that is mostly beautiful? Should I let these thoughts take away from the warmth the film created while I was watching it?
At its core, it is ultimately your standard love triangle. Yes, there are a few films that Barfi! reminds you of – Hindi, English and silent. But, like with anything as standard as that, it's how the audience flows with the narrative that makes or breaks the film. And Barfi! doesn't let go of one chance to make you smile. Even if it is rather dark masked behind Ranbir's omnipresent charm.
Neither does Barfi! let go of being melodious. The songs stay soulful and playful together. This once, I didn't mind the background score coming into the foreground and wanting to stay there most of the time. It made Barfi! the lyrical and soothing film that it is.
Other than the light-hearted cloak Anurag Basu's writing garbs the sadness of the characters with, it creates an intriguing atmosphere with it's non-linear narration. The back and forth between the two years in the 70s make the film a lot more engaging, 'thriller' element notwithstanding. As the film closes and you see an increase in the back and forth between the 70s and present time, you wonder if the non-linearity is used to keep you with the tenderness that the film has created and not leave the theater feeling too bad for the characters.
These characters don't want sympathy, they want to engage you in their bizarre story. The dark comedy of errors, the slapstick, the romance itself is captured in a series of captivating moments that keep you smiling throughout the two and half hours. Ever-so-slightly Anurag Basu also comments on the sorry manner in which the mentally disabled are treated with in society.
Who would have known there would be a romantic comedy that I enjoyed, where the romance is sweet, the comedy mostly slapsticky with background music running throughout the film. To top it of, it also had non-linear narration that it could have done without. All elements that put me off a film. Boy, do I like it when a film turns my generalized dislikes into things that I like about the film.
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: Police beating up an inmate.
- Language: Silent mostly.
- Nudity & Sexual content: One lip-to-lip.
- Concept: A story of love.
- General Look and Feel: 70s. Light-hearted.
Barfi! - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Website Facebook Twitter YouTube Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Ishana Movies, UTV Motion Pictures
- Producer: Siddharth Roy Kapoor, Ronnie Screwwala
- Director: Anurag Basu
- Lead Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Ileana D'Cruz
- Supporting Cast: Akash Khurana, Sumona Chakravarti, Saurabh Shukhla, Rupali Ganguly, Akash Khurana, Sumona Chakravarti, Ashish Vidyarthi, Jisshu Sengupta, Haradhan Bandopadhyay
- Story: Anurag Basu
- Dialogues: Sanjeev Dutta
- Cinematography: Ravi Varma
- Editor: Akiv Ali
- Music Director: Pritam Chakraborty
- Costume Designer: Aki Narula, Shefalina
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 150 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Comedy, Dark Comedy, Romance, Social
Barfi! - Trailer
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