Release Date: September 14, 2012
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Drama
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Illeana D’Cruz, Saurabh Shukla
Director: Anruag Basu
Sometimes the emotions and expressions portrayed by silence have so much strength that it can surpass any deep & meaningful dialogue. This is exactly what Barfi! does.
Barfi, the title character played by Ranbir Kapoor is a deaf and mute young man who lives in the hills of Darjeeling and is always up to some mischief or another. A local police man (Saurabh Shukla) is caught in the midst of all his acts. The run & chase scenes between Kapoor and Shukla are very well executed and full of smart comical techniques that will have you both laughing and shaking your head all at the same time.
Kapoor encompasses a genuine blend of his grandfather; the great Raj Kapoor and the comical genius Charlie Chaplin providing a stellar performance as Barfi. His naive yet powerful expressions suggest both confidence and maturity in his growth and ability as an actor today. He has proved himself well enough by taking home numerous awards (Zee Cine Awards, Screen Awards, Filmfare, IIFA amongst many others) last year for his performance in Rockstar. He has definitely lived up and probably even exceeded expectations this year with Barfi!
Priyanka Chopra plays the role of Jhilmil Chatterjee, a girl suffering from autism and is caught up in the difficulties she faces from her family and society. The portrayal of her character is extremely intense and different from how we have usually seen her on screen previously. From the sensuous yet bold supermodel in Fashion and the ultimate ‘Desi Girl’ in Dostana to achieving the discipline and behavior of an autistic individual; Chopra has gone for gold in all aspects. She looks extremely adorable in her character. Kapoor and Chopra’s chemistry on screen is very fun and sweet and will surely make hearts melt.
The very beautiful Illeana D’Cruz who plays Shruti has appeared in numerous Telegu films previously before marking her Hindi cinema debut with Barfi! Shruti portrays the role of a beautiful girl who moves to Darjeeling where she meets Barfi accidentally. The film starts with an aging Barfi attempting to send a photograph of himself to Shruti as he suddenly collapses to the floor. Through numerous flashbacks and quick twists, the bitter-sweet relationships between the three main actors begin to unfold. Each twist and turn in the storyline has been specially arranged by the magnificent storyteller that he is, Anurag Basu. A sudden stop in the storyline will later on connect so beautifully to another event whilst making sure that the audience is engaged and informed at the very same time.
The film is shot on scenic locations covering the highlands of Darjeeling, West Bengal to the waters surrounding the Howrah Bridge in Kolkata. The cinematography of Ravi Varman is on point and very crisp. Many scenes will just melt your heart and even force a few tears to trickle down your cheeks. Such a scene is when Barfi meets and confesses his love to Shruti at a restaurant in Darjeeling. His adorable charm and the way in which he literally pours his heart out for her is speechless. Although there are certain parts towards the middle of the film when it can seem slightly dragged but the beautiful melodies and compositions by music director Pritam doesn’t let the audience feel as such for too long. The background score and soundtrack are extremely soulful and blends right in from each frame to the next.
Barfi! has been received very well during its first weekend both overseas and in India across multiplexes and single-screen theaters. Completed on a budget of INR 30 crore; the first weekend collections were a very profitable INR 34.6 crore (USD 6.15 million). All in all Barfi! is a cinematic excellence in the form of the traditional Indian sweet that leaves the sweet tooth of all that watch – highly satisfied.
By: Monty Lokesh Kataria