Planet Bollywood
Barfi!
 
Producer: Ronnie Screwvala, Siddharth Roy Kapoor
Director: Anurag Basu
Starring: Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Ileana D Cruz, Rupa Ganguly
Music: Pritam
Lyrics: Swanand Kirkire, Sayeed Quadri, Neelesh Mishra, Ashish Pandit
Genre: Romantic
Recommended Audience: General
Film Released on: 14 September 2012
Reviewed by: Afshan Shaik  - Rating: 9.0 / 10
More Reviews and Analysis by PB Critics:
    • Feature Review by Jaykumar Shah - Rating: 7.0 / 10
 
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 viewers)
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Opinion Poll: Did Barfi! live up to expectations?

Barfi – When I first read the title I was wondering if it would be as awesome as a barfi (sweet) that we can savour throughout the movie but I must say it’s much more relishing and more importantly relieving particularly after the recent rubbish dished out like Ek Tha Tiger, Jism 2, Raaz 3 etc. I was also a little nervous in case a mute Ranbir Kapoor would disappoint especially as I love the animated Ranbir immensely but after watching the film, one is amazed to see him in a more vivacious character giving his best and cutest performance to date. His expressions, eyes , soul, his “don’t worry be barfi” attitude and his sign language will definitely steal the audiences’ hearts.

Having said that the autistic Jhilmil (Priyanka) steals the show soon after she enters. Initially I was also a little apprehensive as to how she would carry herself but she comes out with flying colours doing absolute justice to her name and role! Illeana D’Cruz who gained fame in Tollywood is gorgeous and she didn’t over do her part. Strangely I liked the way she performed for the first time. Maybe here the credit goes to Anurag Basu.

Like in many Anurag movies the musicians are playing their instruments in the backdrop. Remember Gangster and Life in a Metro? As soon as I saw the music band I sensed it was going to be Pritam even without checking the cast and crew. The music is soulful and the title song “Matwaala Barfi” sung by Mohit Chauhan and Swanand Kirkire is magical - the narration of Barfi’s birth and how he is named Murphy is interesting. I even loved the song in the background during the initial titles “Picture Shuroo Hogai Bachon Aur Mobile Ko Off Karo”! “Main Kya Karoon” by Nikhil Paul George is one more unforgettable song and voice. The rest of the songs also blend well in the movie which is picturesque and poetic, the stanzas of which seamlessly flow.


Three cheers to cinematographer Ravi Varman who captured the scenic Bengal beautifully and I just made a mental note while watching the movie that I must visit Darjeeling one day! The film oscillates between years (1972, 1978 and 2012) and places (Darjeeling and Kolkata) in a slightly haphazard way but you don’t mind it as you are just smiling throughout due to our Chaplin cum Mr. Bean. Barfi’s antics not only make Jhilmil happy but they also have a similar effect on the audience! In a few scenes you may even recall the Notebook movie, the scene where Illeana’s mother tries to teach her why the engaged shruthi (Illeana) has to marry her Mr. Right and not Barfi and also in the ending scene where Jhilmil is curled up on Ranbir’s death bed.

In a few frames I even remembered Sadma (Kamal Hasan and Sridevi’s award winning movie where Kamal Hasan treats Sridevi as a kid and tries to civilise her). Ranbir looked similar to him in many frames, even in the frame with grey hair, nevertheless a huge applause to his performance which is solely natural and not a cheap imitation of any veteran. A pat on the back for Priyanka Chopra too who makes you think of the challenges faced by autistic people around us.

All the simple events and feelings in everyday life are portrayed amazingly! Barfi’s philosophy is that it’s simple to enjoy the smaller things in life rather than running behind luxuries! Barfi's world is shown dreamy like a fairyland with toy trains, wintry forests complete with fireflies that you can catch in shimmering soap bubbles. Love doesn’t need perfection but love at times is an impulse of heart without any pre-plans and so beautiful that you can lead a perfect life even with many imperfections. This is the beautiful message in the movie when Barfi and Jhilmil start living together and Shruthi is left behind with her fantasy to lead such a life and die together in each other’s arms.

There are some unforgettable scenes worth mentioning. The scene where Barfi hugs and sleeps with his father who has a kidney failure and needs money for treatment is tearful. His eyes show so many deep emotions – love, helplessness, hope etc. The way he wants to earn money for his father’s treatment by kidnapping Jhilmil and robbing a bank and all the consequences of this are all comical. There’s another memorable scene where he tests his ‘friendship’ by cutting the lamp post and making his friends stand with him when it falls just at their feet is hilarious and our Jhilmil passes the test as she is confident that holding Barfi’s shirt will protect her.

You travel Barfi’s journey on a rollercoaster with all the smiles, awe and turmoil. If only everyone could live in such a dream land of Barfi! Lastly if Raj Kapoor was alive today he would be proud of his grandson for being a showman like him. The movie starts with smiles and ends in smiles. Its like a lesson in the subtle art of living without long speeches and boring preaches.

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