Movie Review: ‘Barfi’ (***Three Star)

(By Akshat Sharma) Watching ‘Barfi’ on big screen is an experience in itself. Director Anurag Basu has tried to portray a love story featuring physically challenged people. The central character in the movie is ‘Barfi’ who is deaf and dumb but he doesn’t look like one. He lives in Darjeeling with his father and inspite of all odds ‘Barfi’ behaves like rouge on the street. He freely pinches your asscheeks, eve teases college going girls and manages to go scot free which even today is not something easy to get away with.

Ranbir Kapoor has actually played himself. His mannerisms and action is similar to all his previous characters in movies featuring him. The only difference is that he is physically challenged in the movie. Why is he shown physically challenged is still a mystery to me. I guess the director wanted to showcase cute Ranbir not to speak so that girls watching the movie would gush over him.

Honestly speaking even if he were not deaf and dumb he would have acted in the same boisterous and over the top manner. Only Priyanka Chopra has done justice to her character  She looks physically and mentally challenged and she behaves like the one. In cinema characterization is an integral part. Her character Jhilmil is well defined and portrayed by the director.

A newcomer in Bollywood but a reputed name down south Illeana D’Cruz adds a unique freshness to the movie. Her character named Shruti narrates the story of Barfi to the audience and it begins with her encounter with ‘Barfi’. Shruti has just arrived in the city and she bumps into Barfi who falls in love with her for no good reason. May be she got the looks. This should not be an issue since the entire Bollywood industry buys into this ‘Tujhe Dekha Aur Pyar Ho Gaya’ notion so it is oaky if Barfi gets into this love at first sight situation. Shruti’s character is more believable as she gets excited by the idea of a ‘deaf and dumb’ doing not so dumb things.

Shruti is thrilled by Barfi’s antics and wants to take the marital route but her Mum provides her wise consul, ‘Beta it is okay to get into these uncommon flings but get married only to people who belong to your class”. She agrees and takes the boring husband route who belongs to affluent class. Taken aback by this sudden turn of events Barfi again tries his luck and this time he finds a ‘Pugli’ who is also ‘Ugly’.

The problem lies in the screenplay because director doesn’t explain the reason for this love. Even if we buy in ‘pure and good heart’ angle not one scene depicts this angle in the movie. All we see Ranbir running helter skelter after  kidnapping Priyanka who gets clingy and lo they are in love. Director also wastes lot of time with Saurabh Shukla’s character which was needless. The incidents of three kidnappings do not add to the movie and these sub plots divert your attention.

In the end the so called triangular love story meets the filmi fate as Barfi-Jhilmil die in the same bed. Well the idea is sweet but pretty illogical. Even the most lovey-dovey couple find it extremely difficult to time their deaths. But then it is movie and it is okay for directors to take such liberties.

Performance wise Priyanka Chopra and Illeana D’Cruz steal the show. They play their characters whereas Ranbir Kapoor has played ‘Barfi’ in his own trademark style. The biggest asset in the movie is cinematography and music which make the movie look like a poetry on screen.

Music director Pritam has finally given some soulful music and almost all his numbers blend with the narration. Kudos to Pritam for brilliant work. The movie has attracted lots of positive reviews thanks to gigantic PR machinery of UTV films but if one tries to  be honest to the movie the movie under delivers what it promises.

‘Barfi’ is not a bad film. It deserves credit for trying to be ‘different from the run of the mill stories’ but the effort and the process taken lack somewhere. If you like movies and watch Bollywood films you should go to theatre atleast once and then you should decide whether the movie was worth your attention or not.