You know that feeling that you read about in novels; the one where something leaves you feeling “mushy” and “unexplainably happy”.
That’s pretty much how you’ll feel once you walk out of the movie theatre, after watching Barfi!. While I had a ridiculous reaction to the film (I found myself smiling uncontrollably for ten minutes after the credits rolled on to the screen), I can assure you that this film is sure to leave you feeling light and delighted.
In 2012, we have moved away from the saucy item numbers, the joint family drama and of course the good defeats evil moral discourse; we have grown into a style of cinema that most will describe as “arty”.
But Barfi! seems to have created a style that is clearly more contemporary than your run down romance films that have been done to death with.
While Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra have definitely out-done any role that they have ever done, Anurag Basu’s cinematography and treatment steal the show.
His focus on detail and almost no use of ambience sound add to the feel of the movie and make it all the more pleasant. Camera angles, audio tracks and everything used to set the scene for Ranbir and Priyanka exude perfection and a contemporary feel.
While the plot of the movie is nothing out of the ordinary, the way the script develops, reaching the climax and then finally giving the audience the ending they are hoping for, is commendable on Basu’s part.
The funny and obviously adorable Barfi (Ranbir Kapoor) manages to charm the audience right from the beginning. His antics and clumsiness (one that force you to think about Charlie Chaplin and the legendary Raj Kapoor) add zing to the movie, leaving the audience enamoured not by the concept or script, but by the characters.
Jhilmil (Priyanka Chopra) an autistic child is accompanied with a delightful soundtrack almost every time she comes on screen. Though many may find Chopra’s performance a tad bit overdone, I find that her character was just the right mix, one that was believable and well executed (possibly her best performance yet).
The plot starts to take shape when Barfi finds himself in dire need of money for the treatment of his father. He is then brought face to face with Jhilmil, the daughter of one of the wealthiest families in Darjeeling, and what ensues is a series of twists and turns that have you laughing and feeling sympathetic at the same time.
Set in Darjeeling and Calcutta, the film incorporates everything beautiful about the two. For Telegu star, Ileana D’Cruz, her step into Bollywood has been simple but promising. She may be south Indian, but she is able to fit perfectly into the role of a young Bengali woman.
Sure, the film is not one which the masses are used to, but that didn’t restrict the number of laughs it got from the audience.
The time has come where the Hindi film industry has started to come into its own. Setting new stylistic standards and raising the bar in every possible way, Barfi is a 2012 film that is sure to get a lot of attention now, and later.