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Friday, September 14, 2012

'Barfi!' - a heart-stealer!

BARFI! is the latest cinematic offering from Anurag Basu.
As a filmmaker, Anurag has already proven his worth with some entertaining and thoroughly engaging feature films, and even with some interesting work on television. But this one sets him apart in many ways. He has hardly compromised with his creative vision, despite the film having an A-list star-cast and a big studio-backing. 

The film tells an endearing story. Two of the protagonists - including the eponymous one - are differently-abled (challenged, according to the so-called politically incorrect) and yet the film has happened to strike just the right chords, it has hit the right notes at the box-office too. The film has been called a mini-masterpiece by some, while some have lauded it as the most broad-based emotionally overwhelming film made in recent times. 

Anurag Basu has told the tale with some amount of freshness and with a lot of passion and optimism. Ranbir Kapoor in the title role (Murphy, which in the flawed utterance becomes Barfi!), as a deaf-mute guy, oozes cherubic warmth and divine energy, and Priyanka Chopra, as the autistic girl, Jhilmil, has her own moments of brilliance. There is also the other important character, Shruti (played by Illeana D'Cruz, making her Hindi film debut), that stands out in a refreshingly muted way; ironically it is she who threads the narrative with a voice-over that breezes all over with back-and-forth forays (flashbacks and 'super' flashbacks!). 
The viewers would love the ride. I loved it, honestly. I chuckled, smiled, laughed, sobbed and relished the magical moments that played out on the big screen. I cheered for Barfi, I delighted in his exploits, I surrendered to the simplistic charm and innocence in the synthetic recreation of the Seventies.

I would excuse Basu the digressions and the indulgences (which has a distinctive flavor of the Tamil/Telugu films) and also the show-offish excesses. They are but minor flaws. What I took home was the abundance of love and tenderness and sensitive portrayals, and some meaty moments packed in minuscule segments. The film celebrates life, love, and hope.
In one of the promotionals for the film, the cast members put it brilliantly, that a viewer would take from this life-affirming film the kind of flavor that essentially defines him/her and the kind of flavor that he/she would like to permeate in his/her life. 
Barfi, the character, is a heart-stealer, and so is the film.


mehul said...

'Barfi!' surely has made a place in my heart!

Deep said...

If your intentions are good, your wishes will come true - that's the simple message I took home from the movie. The movie is simple yet sound, it has its heart at the right place.

starry-eyed said...

Scenestealer...... heartstealer..... stellar Barfi!:)

Vivek said...

Lessons to be learnt from 'Barfi!':

#1 If you are in love, don't think!
#2 It's better to have a disabled life-partner who'll stand by you, than an able-bodied one who lets you down!
#3 Dance like no one's watching, love like you never lost!
#4 Even if you're ugly, obese and bald, you do have a heart!
#5 When you love, you may suffer; if you don't you don't live!
#6 You may be deaf-mute or autistic, but love has a million ways of communicating!
#7 Inner beauty always triumphs over superficial gloss!
#8 Who says you need to listen to music in order to dance..... who says you need a voice to sing? Make your life a song, and dance to your heart's content!
#9 Love enters your heart like a stray puppy and you just can't let it go!
#10 Love is so blind that you may get hit by the same pole twice!

Rachit said...

I agree completely. "BARFI!" makes one smile, cry and chuckle in delight. It tugs at our heartstrings like the best of films only can. So, despite the influences, despite the stuff that Ranbir Kapoor has to derive his physical acting stint from - be it Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Mr Bean (Rowan Atkinson), or even Raj Kapoor - the scenes evoke the perfect reactions from the viewers, you bet!

aarav said...

The music, and the cinematography are simply flawless. Ranbir Kapoor, in the title role, is near-perfect. PC as Jhilmil is a revelation indeed. And the sweetest thing about BARFI is Ileana, for both her looks and her presence (Shruti's character has an understated romantic passivity that makes her stand out on her own).

Piyush said...

A lovely post, for a lovely film..... I hope it gets a nod a for the Oscars as well.

Anirban Halder said...

A nicely worded, spontaneous review!

LoverBoy said...

It has been reported that Aamir Khan, who made it a point to watch 'Barfi!' at a special screening, was left teary-eyed and visibly overwhelmed by the film. It shows how genuinely the film has touched people, of all ages, from all strata, who may otherwise dig one kind of film more than other. My love for the film is a case in point as well, and the stellar example at the beginning too is just for the naysayers and the detractors, for all those people who have lambasted with inane comments and charges against the film in the media.