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This is not so much in response to your judgement (because I have come to value it no matter what it is) but mostly in response to the euphoria around Barfi: All I can say is we are still living in an age where stories compel us, not storytelling; Where a little real work is heralded as a big achievement just because no one else likes to deliver us real work; When PC does a little more than a 'thumka' we all melt; When a director ODs on mush, we call it an epic; When he mixes genres we call him a genius and so on. As discerning audience we must be giving these guys a run for their money. Instead we like to get carried away by this one thing or the other. I want to applaud Basu and team too, but I would rather wait till they give us pure cinema not concoctions in the name of cinema.
Here's some more on Barfi (Caution: The following comment is full of spoilers)
Barfi: What didn't work for me--Convoluted story telling; so many seemingly unrelated people reminiscing a guy...there is a sense that these are all connected but not enough clarity prevails
--Mixing of genres: mystery + romance + disability; integration though ambitious was confusing
--Background score (monotonously romantic...reminded me of 'Kites'...which was not a good feeling)
--Excessive dependence on montage; the entire first half is a only a compilation of miniscule sequences that a) take longer to convey the characters' intrinsic traits which in turn leaves the audience perplexed as to how to/ how much to empathize with the key characters, and b) make the film/ story seem fragmented thus also making the storytelling seem convoluted...what's more, non-linear is also attempted at the same time...causing momentary interest but eventually adding to the chaos
-- Iliana's 70's hairdo--yes, yes the story is set in 1978 blah blah, but in a period drama there should be other evident period elements than just a wig! Ok there was a grey Fiat/ Ambassador too. So what?
--Coming to think of the hairdo, even the wig for present day Iliana did not work!
Barfi: What worked--All possible loose ends tied together cleverly at the end, the very end though-- too late for people who got impatient and left the theater in between
--Cameraman conscious of framing PC in a way that her pouty lips were avoided from being too visible, even in close-ups. Thank god!
--Ranbir...saving grace and the sole reason to watch
Verdict: The trailers promised a light and fluffy dessert. However, what was served was a large serving of 'Khichdi' with some sugar syrup. Try imagining the taste. Barfy, right? Barfi at best is a pastiche in which all possible elements of successful cinematic plots are hodgepodged together-- boy meets girl, love triangle, disability, corrupt police, period setting, exotic locales, and non-linear storytelling, -- so the aftertaste is barfy!
erratum: *middle of second half* ...in the last line of my previous comment.
B.H. Harsh and Meetu: It is not a debacle like Kites but it is definitely not a great achievement either. At best it is an ambitious pastiche slow-cooked over audience's patience--where I watched the film, people had started to leave the theater by the middle to second half. Words fail, but audiences' walk-out says a lot!
suppalike your review! true, it takes some prep to like allen's films. but once you do there's not looking back. everything he says or does or makes his characters go through, neurotic-ness particularly, becomes endearing.