Star Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Ileana D’Cruz
Directed By: Anurag Basu
Produced By: Ronnie Scewvala and Siddharth Roy Kapoor
Written By: Anurag Basu
Reviewer Rating: ****/5
Do not go to watch Anurag Basu’s “Barfi” because it has four stars or because you are in the mood for something romantic. You will narrow down the element of surprise if you go with a prepared mind.
He is so cute — you will love him; he is so naughty — you will laugh hard; he is so clever — you will be amazed. The uneven trail of Barfi’s life is an amusing watch. He is never tired of running around or getting caught. Its not like he has a plan, but he always figures out a way. He may not have a voice, but people cannot escape what he has to say as he says it through his actions. He drives the people around him (his father, the police etc) to the edge of their nerves, but he cannot hear them complain. Is his imperfection a curse or a blessing, you wonder. But in the end, after the fun-filled ride is over, looking back you realize, what a harsh reflection it is of the so-called perfect world we live in.
This illusion of perfection is explored through the medium of love. Shruti (Ileana D’Cruz) who is beautiful, educated and well placed in society, is left with a sense of hollowness in her life. She, who has always dreamt of falling in love with the perfect guy and living the perfect love relationship, falls for the most imperfect, handicapped and socially inferior guy. The fear of not being able to live a secure life does not allow her to pursue her love. On the other hand, the deaf and dumb Barfi or Erfi (Ranbir Kapoor) is heart broken by Shruti’s rejection. He accepts his fate and brings about a change in his life. When his father suddenly falls ill and he requires money for surgery, he plans to kidnap Jhilmil Chatterjee (Priyanka Chopra), the autistic daughter of a rich family in Darjeeling. Jhilmil’s family is ashamed of her and tries to hide her from the society all her life. However, when her grandfather is on his death bed she is brought back from the nursery she was left to grow up in. Though the two have known each other since childhood, it is at this junction that Barfi and Jhilmil’s chemistry starts. One incident leads to another and soon we find them in Kolkata, where Barfi once again encounters Shruti.
The story is familiar. It is perhaps like the many you have seen before and may become a drag here and there. Yet it reaches out to you. The emotions expressed and played, warm the heart. The crux of the movie is to celebrate the idea of simply falling in love rather than calculating to fall in love, which sadly is the trend of the times. Barfi makes us want to believe and assures us that it is okay to have weaknesses and to not be perfect in the sense ‘perfection’ of today’s world. The best part is that we learn while laughing instead of shedding buckets full of tears. It’s a very sensitive story, shown in the goofiest possible manner.
Ranbir Kapoor, though he amazes us, is not much of a surprise as we are aware of his passionate character from his “Rockstar.” It is Priyanka Chopra who steals the show in her new avatar. From the stunning hotshot model of “Fashion” to the fierce and bold avenger in “Don”, we now see her as an innocent and dependent little girl who needs help to undo her underpants and who needs to hold the pinky finger to fall asleep. Who could have imagined to see the witty and shrewd wife who gets rid of seven husbands in “7 Khoon Maaf” as the most delicate person? She may seem to be an imperfect and incomplete woman, yet is completely perfect in all spheres of being a woman — from being insecure to loving without boundaries. I can even forget Rani Mukherjee’s character in “Black,” so overpowering is Jhilmil’s portrayal.