I’ve been watching Hindi movies my entire life pretty much. I’ve been mocked because of my deep love for them but that didn’t lessen my love of them. Do you know why? It is because of films like Barfi. Barfi in no way fits the stereotypical view of Bollywood. It is not a movie consumed by song and dance numbers or totally unrealistic action sequences. Not that there is anything wrong with those films. In fact, I love those kinds of Hindi movies, just refer to any of my previous posts. It is just that the next time someone says “Oh you like Bollywood? Those are the movies where the actor and actress dance and sing for the whole movie right?” I can internally laugh at them because Barfi is not that at all.
Barfi is NOT a sad movie overall. It is a movie about loving life. It is about appreciating what God has given you instead of complaining about what he has given others and not you. Barfi teaches this lesson not through melodrama or tears but through humour. I watched the movie in a relatively full theatre and I cannot tell you how many times the theatre burst into laughter. There are some scenes in the film that are just so adorably humorous you wish you had a remote so you could rewind and watch it again. There are some sad portions as well but soon after you will find yourself laughing again.
Director/writer Anurag Basu most definitely deserves a standing ovation. He has written a superb story. It is a simple one but it makes you laugh and cry. His direction of the film is outstanding. Every single character is memorable and the little moments in the film stay in ones mind even after the film is over. In an interview Ranbir Kapoor said for this film Priyanka, Ileana and himself completely relied on Mr. Basu. Thus, their amazing performances are in part credited to this genius of a man.
My entire family loves Ranbir Kapoor. We eagerly await all his films and we all wish him the best. However, I have always held a special place for Shahrukh Khan in my heart. I never thought I could love anyone more than SRK until today. After watching Barfi, Ranbir Kapoor is my most favourite actor without question. The man has no dialogues in the film yet I have never found a character so endearing! I totally agree with Anurag Basu, NO ONE ELSE COULD HAVE BEEN BARFI!
Priyanka Chopra has given several noteworthy performances in her career like Aitraaz, Fashion, Kaminey and Saat Khoon Maaf but Barfi is her best yet. Jhilmil is a tricky character to portray. If portrayed incorrectly, Jhilmil could come off as a silly character or a pathetic caharacter for whom we feel nothing but empathy for. Thankfully and incredibly, Priyanka’s performance ensures neither of the above happens. Rather, you find yourself falling in love with Jhilmil’s spirit. You don’t feel sorry for her.
Ileana’s role is substantial but it is not as interesting/meaty as Ranbir and Priyanka’s roles. She does a good job though and was an apt choice.
All in all, Barfi is my favourite film of the year thus far. I won’t at all be surprised to see Ranbir walk away with all the Best Actor awards this year again. Nor will I be surprised to see Anurag Basu walk away with best director (though he may have to compete with Yash Chopra and Reema Katgi). Priyanka will most definitely be nominated but I will have to see Heroine first before I can say with certainty that she will win. So far, for me it was the best performance by an actress this year.
I will give one warning though, if you only like fast paced masala movies then Barfi may not be for you. As critic and trade analyst Taran Adarsh aptly put it:
“On the whole, BARFI! is unusual for Bollywood. You don’t formulate movies like BARFI! targeting its box-office potential or its commercial prospects. You create such films for the passion of cinema.”
So, if you truly love cinema and do not only go to movies to help pass the time then Barfi is most definitely one film you should not miss. Even if you are one of those movie-goers I would say give this movie a chance. It is a happy story. Though for some strange reason I found myself getting teary eyed at the end even though the ending is such a happy one. I think that is why I loved this movie so much, it invoked something in me that I still don’t understand. That has never happened to me before.