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Masterful Kapoor in BARFI!

© Hindi Cinema Blog

Long before Ranbir Kapoor, Ileana D'Cruz and Priyanka Chopra faced a stampede in Bangalore a few days ago, Barfi! had entered my consciousness with its adorable trailer. Having watched it at its release, I have searched my words for several hours and would say that the film does not end when one comes out of the cinema hall. This one stays with you well beyond.

Barfi! is the story of Murphy/Barfi (Ranbir Kapoor) set in 1970's Darjeeling and Calcutta. Barfi is a mischievous and clever deaf-mute youth who falls in love with Shruti (Ileana D'Cruz). While Shruti feels affection for Barfi, she prefers to marry a man approved by her parents. When several years later, Shruti and Barfi meet again, he lives with Jhilmil (Priyanka Chopra), his autistic childhood friend who suddenly goes missing. As Shruti helps Barfi find the girl he now loves, she understands that she has never stopped loving him. Love and the pursuit of happiness are delicately portrayed by all three actors.

Barfi! has it all, starting by its delicate and pacy script, absolutely charming music and lyrics often taking center stage, beautiful cinematography, emotions, excellent comedy and a well sought-out and directed cast. Protagonists and second roles included.

A beautiful Ileana D'Cruz, one of Telugu cinema's leading actresses, is a fine match for Ranbir Kapoor. She looks the part and smoothly takes the plot to emotional places that are difficult to attain for an actor, particularly because she is mostly silent herself when she is with her costar. Priyanka Chopra, completely devoid of her beauty queen aura gives a subdued performance. I still have to find a role in which the actress makes me feel for the character and I do wish she had been given a tad more scope to relate to her, but she is quite commendable in her role. Where most Indian films with protagonists who are mentally or physically challenged struggle with accuracy and sentimentalism, Barfi! does just the opposite. Anurag Basu's writing conveys that "different" does not mean "strange", but simply "human", and that is only one of the elements for which the story should be strongly applauded.

The leading man, Ranbir Kapoor, is absolutely masterful. As I watched him, so many memories of Raj Kapoor's best moments appeared. Ranbir is his grandfather's grandson indeed. Chaplin, Mr. Bean and Georges Valentin (The Artist) all come to mind but are surpassed as the actor creates a character which is even more enchanting and endearing. I have not been moved by a performance in Indian cinema in a long time as I have by this one, in which the actor expresses so many nuances of emotion and life with pitch-perfect histrionics and not a single word! I would fearlessly say that young heroines now have their ideal counterpart in young Ranbir, a man who is good at his craft, is no longer promising or building his career, but has in my honest opinion, reached the start of its peak. May he continue gracing our cinema screens for a very long time.

Love, the true kind, is made of happiness, even when that happiness is not directly ours to own. Barfi! is an ode to that principle and more. Anurag Basu's delicate and humourous watercolour of life's twists and beauties has released and it is cinema not to be missed.

Visit the Barfi! webpage for stills and more information on the film.

Director  and screenplay: Anurag Basu   

Priyanka Chopra
Ileana D'cruz
Ranbir Kapoor 
Shaurabh Shukla
Rahul Garg
Sumona Chakravarti
Bhola Raja Sapkota
Jishu Sengupta

Producer: Siddharth Roy Kapur and Ronnie Screwvala

Music: Pritam


Meera said...

Awesome Movie Yaar.. Its about Life..
Promoted to the Oscar

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Another Kiran In NYC said...

Saw the movie last night. Endearing but flawed. It could have been a great movie, but it lost it's way. Too much, too long, and not nuanced enough. Priyanka made a very brave effort not to be the bollywood heroine, but she so obviously "acted" which is less than "was the character". She had the showiest role that had so much potential to show acting chops. Ranbir and Ileana were terrific.

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