Review: Barfi!

Movie Reviews
14 September 2012

Anurag Basu's 'Barfi!' manages to string together beautiful moments: moments of love, friendship, loss and discovery. It's commendable how much the film says through unspoken words. There are few movies that strike a chord and leave you overwhelmed when the lights come on and 'Barfi!' is definitely one such movie.

It's interesting that this film has a deaf-mute hero and an autistic female lead and yet, has one of the most coherent narratives we have seen recently. As Basu's plot unfolds, his characters tell an endearing tale of love, longing, togetherness and hope. There's the rush of first love, the mirage of impossible relationships, the compromise of right choices and eventually the acceptance of irrational emotions.

Ranbir's performance is well nuanced and each expression is priceless. RK just keeps getting better with each performance. As 'Barfi!' his Chaplinesque antics are the most endearing but we see him play a whole gamut of characters in this film, there's his mischief, his antics, his proposal, his heartbreak, his moments of loneliness and, above all, his disarming charm. Ranbir's performance towers not only way above his co-stars but also all of his contemporaries.

Priyanka and Ileana have done justice to their roles, but Ranbir's allure is too overwhelming for others to even have a chance at being noticed. Saurabh Shukla, as the hassled police officer, is the only other character who makes an impact. Their constant chases, the near-captures and Barfi's repeated escapes make for the most entertaining part of the movie.

There are many memorable moments in the film, like Barfi's naïve wooing of a girl he just meets, or his anger when he realizes that his proposal of marriage was just presumptuous and the time when he is being protective of Jhilmil (Priyanka) when he catches someone ogling at her. These and many other such instances steer clear of melodrama and yet, leave you either in splits or teary-eyed.

I don't know if Pritam's music is 'inspired' from elsewhere but the songs work really well with the story. If the success of a film lies in not only how much it entertains you while you are watching the film but also in the infinite moments that stay with you long after you have left the theatre, then 'Barfi!' is a clear winner.

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