Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Note: Spoilers ahead if you have not watched it yet.

I knew the movie would be full of comical antics and also emotionally charged as the promos indicated and as I knew the lead character would be deaf-mute and the heroine supposedly autistic. The Ala Barfi song in the beginning is nicely done and Ranbir Kapoor starts to showcase the fact that he has totally got into the spirit of the character he plays. Now imagine what happened. As the film proceeds I am actually trying not to get swayed by a few emotional scenes and some portions that seem artificial (all too sugary, trying too hard types) to me. Although a movie is a story after all – concocted, contrived and melodramatic like most Indian movies are, however this movie as it turns out got everything right!

I laughed and enjoyed many scenes, right from the starting (till the very end actually) but I continued to somehow resist the trap of getting too involved until the scene where Barfi (Ranbir) returns home from Shruti’s (Ileana D’Cruz); dejected and having shown his anger at a teary-eyed Ileana who has a fiancée. The scene shows him sleep with his father, Barfi’s arms curled around his father – hugging him tightly as the camera pans to a close-up of Ranbir's glum face deriving some solace from his dad. This set off my tear-glands and both eyes spewed out a drop or two of tears. The director does a fantastic job of telling us about Barfi’s despair at being ditched by Ileana and getting emotional support from possibly the only person whom he considers his own (his father) in this short, sweet and emotionally overwhelming scene.

It is a total director’s and cinematographer’s movie - a visual delight and some elements brought in like the Chou Nritya (dance) mask wearing Ranbir pulling the cart reminded me of Satyajit Ray’s style of endearing movie-making. There are a plethora of creative flourishes (directorial and cinematographic) throughout the movie beyond the Chaplin’esque comedy and Tom and Jerry-like fight scenes and some effective symbolism like the sawing off of the street-light poles (loved the bubble-blowing night scene - surreal, magic realism anyone?)! And I forgot the music - superb score by Pritam (the song 'Phir Le Aayaa' in the movie with 4-5 lines of the lyrics is perfectly placed).  

When a movie is made with great love and passion, it shows and the director's wholehearted work is evident (ala Kahaani). Essentially a convoluted love story (with a mysterious twist in between) among three characters set in Darjeeling and Kolkata, the nuances of the relationships are portrayed with sensitivity without however taking out the jocular moments. Sincere, competent and heart-warming performances from Priyanka Chopra, Saurabh Shukla and the newcomer Ileana D’Cruz and Ranbir Kapoor's best performance  (everything emoted through non-verbal expressions) till date along with great attention to detail that will be evident when you watch the movie; set it apart as a movie in its own league. Go watch it today!

Joint review with some suggestions and opinions from the wife, incorporated.