Released on: 14th September, 2012
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Ileana D’Cruz, Priyanka Chopra, Ashish Vidyarthi, Rupa Ganguly, Saurabh Shukla, Akash Khurana
Director: Anurag Basu
Bonus: Outstanding Cinematography
My Rating: 4.8 stars of 5
I write reviews for sheer joy. I do not write a review for all films that I watch, but I decide prior to watching the film, that I will be writing one on it. I knew I had to write on ‘Barfi!’, but while still on seat watching the movie I knew writing a review for Barfi would be the tough! It is a movie to be felt with heart and I do not think I can do justice with this piece; still I just gave it a shot.
Barfi is a human being. Like all of us, he is a human being. He loves fooling around; he loves having fun; he loves being mischievous. He falls in love; loses his love and his life moves on until one day he breathes his last. The only difference between Barfi (Ranbir Kapoor) and us is that, he cannot hear or speak. Thus, unlike us, Barfi cannot hear the birds sing, the thunders roar, or anyone speak, nor can he utter a single word apart from his name – Murphy, which he eventually pronounces as Barfi! So be it – Barfi!
While the film is narrated and runs in flashback, the song by Mohit Chauhan,
“Barfi jo amma ji ki kokh mein tha soya
Amma ne Murphy ka radio mangaya
Marphy munna jaisa lalla, Amma ka tha sapna
Munna jab haule haule, duniya mein aaya
Baba ne Ceylon wala station lagaya
Radio on hua
Amma off hui
Toota har sapna
Munna mute hi aansu bahaayee…
Munna jhunjhuna sun bhi na paaye…”
Barfi grows up to be a handsome and charming young boy. Dwelling in Darjeeling, Barfi cycles through the hilly tracks the whole day, and just helps his father at the end of the day with the daily chores at home. Finding happiness in the small things of life is what brings a smile on Barfi’s face. Barfi crosses the hurdles of his physical weakness and goes on to enjoy life to the fullest. Truly, Barfi is the talk of the town even though he himself cannot speak.
As natural as can be, Barfi falls in love with a girl at first sight, one day. The Calcuttan girl comes to Darjeeling for some days, when Barfi falls for her and proposes to her right away. An unique style of proposing – Barfi offers his heart along with a flower on a saucer and ‘says’ that he can neither speak nor hear but he is the possessor of a gigantically magnificent heart! Although impressed and amused by Barfi, Shruti (Ileana D’Cruz) tells him that she is already engaged. Promptly enough, Barfi offers the ‘same heart with the flower’ to her friend who was with her! ‘That’ is precisely Barfi! Of course, Barfi understands the situation and just requests to be friends. Shruti agrees. They make good friends, but how long can anyone resist Barfi? Shruti falls in love but she does not have the courage to stay back in Darjeeling with Barfi for the rest of her life. She goes back to marry her college sweetheart and lead a posh life in Calcutta. When Barfi learns that she cannot be his and is going back, he chases the toy train on his cycle to get a last glimpse of her. Barfi overcomes the heartbreak in some time.
Next, comes back Jhilmil (Priyanka Chopra) from the sanctuary. Suffering from autism, Jhilmil has his own way to view the world. Wonderfully depicted by a glass ball given to her by her grandpa, through which everything seems topsy-turvy. With the heart of a child Jhilmil found a friend in Barfi, apart from her daju and maasi, and amazed him with her simplicity and her blindfold faith in him.
As ironic as life can be, Barfi again gets to meet Shruti. Yes, another triangular-love-story. What will hold you back to your seat is what will Barfi do? Who will he love and be with for the rest of his life? Although the choice between an autistic girl and a beautiful lady like Shruti is obvious, yet the entire journey is different, because Barfi is different!
Remarkable cinematography takes the movie to a different height altogether. When Barfi comes to face the fact that Shruti cannot be his, suddenly everything goes wrong. His umbrella gets struck and won’t open and he gets drenched in heavy rain. His chain of his cycle falls of the chain stay. Later, when Barfi goes to see Shruti for the last time, he bumps with a post and his cycle gets dismantled, with a wheel rolling down to some distance and then slowly coming to a stop. It is a ‘stop’ that depicts the life of Barfi at that very point of time.
Location played another important aspect for the film. Shot in scenic beauty of Darjeeling – the queen of hills, and Calcutta, the director Anurag Basu got a huge chance to uphold the beauty and culture of the two places. Starting from the heritage of the hill station – toy train to the chhou naach (a form of folk dance) of the villages of Bengal, Basu had prepared a marvellous dish to be offered on the platter of the audience.
Transitions were stunning too. Just referring to two incidents here:
One is where Barfi keeps throwing one of her shoes in the air in front of Jhilmil’s window to attract her attention, since he cannot call put her by name. As Barfi does it and Jhilmil slowly walks towards the window, the motion of the shoe slows down, and as Jhilmil peeps down, a young Barfi is seen and so is a young Jhilmil! Soon after, they are shown in the present age.
The other one is when the sign board changes from the ad of Murphy Radio to Avon Cycle, when Barfi’s life also takes a new turn!
Ranbir Kapoor has already proved himself as an actor. Apart from him too Basu has intelligently cast the other actors. Veteran actrors like, Priyanka Chopra, Ileana D’Cruz, Ashish Vidyarthi, Rupa Ganguly, Saurabh Shukla, Akash Khurana, have done a stunning job. Everyone acted almost flawlessly, to say the least. Priyanka Chopra was quite good as the autistic child, Jhilmil, yet there was scope to do better. For instance, while she waits with Barfi and mischievously they puncture the tyres of a car, Barfi runs off from the site. Jhilmil runs too, but this ‘running’ scene could have been better acted by Piggy Chops.
Just one thing was not really convincing enough! How did Barfi, Shruti, Jhilmil grow older than the inspector who was at least about double the age than the three of them faster? Why did he not age with time like the other three did? Else, Barfi is a near-perfect movie; a MUST watch!
Barfi is not only a sweet movie; it is also one from where one can learn how to love, truly and unconditionally!