Monday, September 24, 2012

Ala Barfi

Last Wednesday was holiday in Bangalore on the occasion of ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’.  So I utilized the break from work by catching the morning show of the movie ‘Barfi!’ in a multiplex. I found the trailer interesting but there was a fear that they might overdo it and make it either a complex movie about human disability or make it a sentimental one which would ask the audience to shed their tears all through the movie.
But once it started from then on I got hooked and let me accept that I absolutely loved the movie. I found it a very sweet, simple, romantic story narrated in a very beautiful way around the stunning scenic beauties of Darjiling and the hustle-bustle of Kolkata. I am not going to get into the deep message given through the movie but for me it was a celebration of life and a realization about how we human beings can find happiness and live the life to our fullest despite all the disabilities and problems.

And more than the story this movie is about some extraordinary performances. Ranbir Kapoor in one of his most challenging role was perfect as a deaf-mute man. Some of his expressions were breath-taking as well as heart-touching and he is making great strides towards becoming the most popular hero in the post Khan-era and arguably the best actor in the Kapoor Khandan!!
 Illeana D’Cruz looked very attractive, actually very very pretty. With her gorgeous eyes and winning smile she successfully created a permanent impression on the audiences’ mind. Remember, she had the minimum scope in the movie compared to Ranbir and Priyanka but she held her own in her debut performance in Hindi movies. I also quite like her Bengali appearance. It was nice. The only negative was her aged make-up, one of the very few drawbacks in the movie.
Saurabh Shukla merits a special mention. He got a great role and his execution of funny police officer character showed his immense talent once again. I absolutely loved Haradhon Banerjee. He again showed the meaning of ‘Old is Gold’, huge respect for him from my side.
And yes there was Priyanka Chopra or was she?  Well, you almost tend to miss her in the movie; it was Jhilmil Chatterjee all the way. You just can’t forget her. In each and every scene she just blew us apart. It was effortless, at times mesmerizing. Till now, her best performance and this one deserves lots of credit. Not only for her acting skills but also for taking the challenge of trying out this role of an autistic girl. Completely de-glamorized, with short hair, boyish shirts and skirts and with just a few grunts as her dialogue, this is one of the most memorable characters in Hindi movies for me.

A special thanks to Anurag Basu and his team to come up with this master piece. He is one of the brightest directors around and after the dud called ‘Kites’ it was a perfect comeback. I read somewhere that ‘Barfi!’ is the first story he wrote after recovering from Cancer. May be that’s why it is complete different take on life, a life full of fun and laughter among the pain and distress. A life where people think about second chances and even some of them get it.
For me 'Barfi!’ is a celebration of life and human spirit. And that’s why all the debate regarding ‘Oscar material or not’, ‘GoW and not barfi should go to Oscar’ and ‘copied or not’ do not make any sense to me. There are lots of great movies which have not won any Oscar and there are lots of movies inspired by others. To me, the success of a film depends on whether it’s entertaining, watchable and whether it is forcing me to think or not. And I can safely say that, ‘Barfi!’ has fulfilled those conditions.
So let’s not waste time in those debates and lengthy posts in Facebook. May be a better utilization of that saved time would be to watch it again and smile, something which is very difficult to get nowadays. 


  1. A few points:
    1. I loved the performances of all the three protagonists. I thought Priyanka Chopra stole the show.
    2. The movie, in places, chose to be commercial over classy. It took the easy route. Shruti could easily not have let Barfi know that Jhilmil was calling him in the real world.
    3. In some other places, the movie worked perfectly fine by my liking. Jhilmil guarding Barfi against Shruti was a brilliant scene.
    4. The background score was amazing, especially the title soundtrack. I have to give Pritam the credit till we find out which Korean soap he has lifted his tunes from.
    5. Someone has possibly told Anurag Basu that he is as good a director as Charlie Chaplin. He isn't Basu's best friend.
    6. The script fell in the hands of the wrong Anurag.
    7. In Black, they had mixed up Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Here they have mixed up autism and cerebral palsy.
    8. Despite all that, a thoroughly enjoyable movie.