Barfi: A Magical Masterpiece

Cast:  Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Illeana D’Souza, Saurabh Shukla, Roopa Ganguli
Anurag Basu
Music Director: Pritam
Run Time: 150 minutes
Film Critic: Nayandeep Rakshit

Rating: [xrr rating= 5/5]

For a review, the rating does say a lot of what to expect. But with Barfi, the rating would fall way too short to describe the joyful drive that it takes you along!

1970s belonged to the Sholay, the ‘80s belonged to Tezaab, DDLJ kind of owned the ‘90s and Kaho Na Pyaar Hai swept everyone’s hearts in the last decade. Honestly and without much a do, the coming decade would be throned by Anurag da’s Barfi! With a soothing ‘A la Barfi’ playing in the background, the film encapsulates all the characters in brief, preparing us for the relentless joyride that we are about to witness for the next two and half hours.

Ranbir’s Murphy is somewhat a police’s darling with a run of the mill cat and mouse chase sequences that are rib tickling, he is deaf and dumb but a powerfully expressive lad who has only one motive: to make everyone around him smile: the Barfi way! Barfi falls in love with Shruti (Illeana) and a cuddly and adorable love story is up for grabs. The problem? She is engaged with Ranjeet but wants to break open and run away with the loving Barfi. What stops her from fleeing with Barfi is the obedience and sanskaar!. While Shruti bids an adieu to the person jisne usko azaadi se jeena sikhaya, is it really a goodbye that comes from the heart? Suddenly, like a phoenix, the film rises up to a crescendo after Jhilmil, the power packed Priyanka Chopra is introduced. She is different, she is autistic and she is in a zone, completely different from others altogether. A series of kidnaps and losses, the two specially abled characters finally fall in love with each other  and what happens next is a matter of passion and breaking the mould that follows through!

The film is magical with a capital ‘M’; it is the perfect concoction of love, comedy, mystery, desire and blends in all the genres with eased conviction. Anurag Basu’s ‘Barfi’ is a masterpiece, a cinematic brilliance of sorts! With an iconic character like Murphy, the legendary Barfi hat, striped pullover and loose trousers, the film is definite en route to enter the historic Hall of Fame in B-town today! Direction is spell bounding with an always under-rated director like Anurag rising to the pinnacles with a film so absorbing like Barfi! He beautifully interweaves the story, sequences the scenes and links them together impeccably. With people comparing him to Satyajit Ray, the day might not be far when Anurag da is gifted with an Oscar for his unconventional plot lines and mesmerizing direction.

The film deals with moments and some amazingly carved scenes. There are some breath taking scenes in the film, From the opening scene between Ranbir and Illeana to the way Ranbir charms his lady love by taking the clock back by 15 minutes, their romantic saga is one of sweetest seen in recent times. Anurag da bangs on the age old thought that ‘Silence speaks volumes of what is to be expressed’. Anurag da seems to have mastered the art of small things. The cutting of wooden lamp posts to assure support, the hide and seek play with the mirror, the chhau dance are all testimony to the elegance that makes up Barfi!

Music is simply out of the world. Without any jahatak-matak songs in the kitty, Pritam pens down a melodious album with some absolutely wonderful tracks that makes your ears go hmmm! Cinematography is majestic, locating the picturesque Darjeeling and Kolkata locales with so much of gusto is genuinely difficult but all of it comes so easy to the director yet again!

Coming to the cast, Illeana is fetching as Shruti packing in a punch with a sort of ‘established debut’. For a a Goanese to do a Bengali bou act, it would have come in with a lot of inhibitions, but Illeana is way more than perfect for Shruti! In frames where other established B town actresses would have frozen in to a barfi-la stone, Illeana lends full support to the naughty Barfi and Jhilmil. Walking away with the awards next year, well we wouldn’t be surprised!

Priyanka Chopra steals the applause from the main character in a film which overtly is an out and out Ranbir Kapoor film. Most of her scenes leave you awed because she delivers her career best with Barfi’s Jhilmil Chatterjee! The hint of innocence in Piggy Chops’ eyes, the sense of child like exuberance in her actions, is more than enough to captivate the audiences at large. Her agony can be felt, her silence, her loud ‘Barfi’ shrieks can take you through an emotional wringer. All in all, PC is bewitching and Jhilmil is magically alluring to the nerves. The way she portrays the life of an autistic individual with such sheer determination and grit, she has added another feather to her already occupied hat and that in itself speaks volumes of her acting credentials.

And now before we end the review, it would remain incomplete without giving credit to the man who has made Barfi so real! He acts with assumed perfection from every corner of his body. He is a complete scene stealer right from the first reel. Barfi might have been inspired from numerous legendary characters: from Chaplin to Raj Kapoor and  Mr.Bean but Ranbir draws a line before one could accuse him of imitating them. With uncanny resemblances to all the notable actors and cgaracters, Ranbir shines as Barfi and how! There is a hint of naughtiness in Ranbir’s eyes all the time, an expression of love in his maneuvers. Shorn of any artifice, his anguish is tangible.Ranbir is just not Wow, he is just not extraordinary but he is just out of this world! Ranbir has proved his acting prowess with his depiction of Murphy in this rather enchanting film and he performs Barfi with unexpected panache. From the love, pain, remorse, regret, anger: he is a storehouse of talent where he does everything just by his movements! You can feel the earnestness of his emotions, the warmth of his love and the wetness of his tears!

Saurabh Shukla as the cop and Roopa Ganguli as Shruti’s mother lend support in this beautiful piece of origami!

FINAL VERDICT: Barfi leaves an indelible impact on its people! The love brewing scenes between Ranbir and Priyanka in the film is a testimony to the acute creative genius of Anurag Basu. It is definitely the love story of the season, the year and for the next decades to come! The use of silence has been done exceedingly well. The message delivered is powerful and emotional too! Barfi shows that Love has no limitations, no boundaries. It can transform the hugest physical disabilities into the specially abled capabilities and transcends us to s level of enthralling romance! With the lessons of being charming, chalu and loving, Barfi also lends special emphasis on one message that binds the entire story together. Don’t live in years, live in moments. What makes Barfi all the more beautiful is the fact that every simple emotion is shared, captured and treasured in moments.
Without much of dialogues given to de glam protagonists, Barfi does achieve a feat which other films, bombarded with loud songs, tadkedaar masala item songs and dhamakedaar dialogues can’t! Maybe even in such a shallow and fraudulent zone of living, Barfi shows that emotions do matter!
My rating is not just a  matter of appreciation, but is also paying homage and respect to the cinematic brilliance that envelops Barfi! A perfect rating for the most encouraging film I’ve ever seen; a film that makes you smile and cry at the same time! Add to it, goosebumps! *Winks*

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