It had been a long time since I’d seen a good Bollywood movie. Ofcourse ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’ & ‘Shanghai’ counts as better made movies and yes it never bored me, but I was indeed missing a feel-good entertainer. In comes Anurag Basu with Barfi!, starring Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra & Ileana, it follows the adventures (and misadventures) of our dumb and deaf protagonist: ‘Murphy’ aka ‘Barfi’.
The movie is in essence, visual, with less use of dialogues, as if to seamlessly blend the dumb and deaf protagonists into their own worlds. This is how they see the world around them and its depicted in beautiful visuals. Prominence of colors and hues makes the locales that much attractive. Barfi! is home to spellbinding and splendid locations, Darjeeling and Kolkata never looked this gorgeous in movies. Add to that Ravi Varman’s OTT cinematography, every other frame looked as if painted, you could almost feel the cold, moist Darjeeling, the warm, rainy Kolkata.
Amazing performances from the cast, and I meant everybody even the support cast.
Never thought I’d be saying this, especially myself not being a fan, but Ranbir as Barfi was just fabulous. Its never easy to portray a mute and it’d be even harder when he is deaf too; there’d be millions of nuances which would be just outta range for people to act out without these disabilities, yet he went that extra mile and almost perfected the role. I am sure he’d be bagging a lot of awards this season for this brilliantly written and acted role. Bollywood Debutant Ileana comes off as Ranbir’s love interest and sweeps you off your feet and at times it seemed she could speak with her eyes alone. There are just no limits to how I loved Priyanka Chopra’s performance as the autistic Jhilmil. I was just flabbergasted at how genuinely she did it. Scenes with her & Ranbir were the most memorable. I remember her act out a female version of the autistic SRK a la ‘My Name is Khan’ way back and she polishes it 10 times better here and definitely deserves more than an applause. Saurabh Shukla and Ranbir had some hilarious scenes together, it’d most likely make you smile if not LOL.
Pritam’s music here felt like pure earcandy. The songs weren’t that catchy but added the visuals giving it that essential feel-good charm.
What first seemed unoriginal, some of the comedy scenes in the movie, later felt like great homages to Chaplin and Mr.Bean. Its got its own cheesy moments but it rather merges right into the narrative and never comes off as unamusing. My only complaint was with the shifting timeline and the duration of the movie. The narrative shifts from present time to flashbacks then back to present time and then to another timeline. The whole deal took time to recuperate and to settle back and forth between timelines was a wee bit unimaginative.
No matter how much entertaining it’d be, Bollywood movies suffer from an ‘inevitable drag’ at some point and Barfi! suffer from the same. The 3rd act does actuate a sluggish pace. Its nothing that spoils the whole experience but taken that it runs close to 180 minutes a good editing could have made it better.
Towards the end Barfi! will almost leave you teary-eyed, a sign when a movie is able to achieve that content feeling/invoke emotions that other movies fail to accomplish. Anurag Basu offers you with one of the best family entertainers this year and it just beckons to be seen on the big screen. Barfi! is definitely a winner and will leave a warm feeling within you; it is sweet and funny with layers of romance, drama and sentiments. I’d recommend Barfi! to everybody who’d appreciate and love a good movie.