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Barfi Movie Review – Celebrating Life With A Dash of Sugar and Plenty of Emotion

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Agreed, you would rather be reading the Barfi Movie Review on a weekend shortly after its release. Let’s face it though Barfi is not your typical Bollywood film which is as predictable as a Salman Khan flick. It’s more likely to be passed off as a movie which relies on the theme of the differently-abled. Such films mostly have an art film type of feel to them where the audience is forced to feel sympathetic and show pittance to a serious subject. Barfi however begs to differ and lets the silence speaks for itself. The movie’s collections have grown daily since its release on September 14 largely on account of positive reviews and social media buzz.

The storyline of Barfi is simple yet relatable. Barfi (Ranbir Kapoor), his parents name him Murphy, but everyone calls him Barfi! Always ready with a prank up his sleeve, he’s quite the charmer, especially with the ladies. But here’s the catch, Barfi is dumb and deaf. The movie is essentially a tragic comedy of a love triangle between Barfi and two young ladies, Aisha (characterized by Ileana D’cruz who also narrates the movie) and Jhilmil (played by Priyanka Chopra who suffers from severe autism). The story moves back and forth between 1978, 1972 and 2012 without losing any continuity. The showcase of human emotions in the movie is deft and pure; it talks about accepting oneself despite your weaknesses, expressing pure love for each other and smiling your way all the way till the end.

Accumulating all the accolades coming his way for a brilliant portrayal is Ranbir Kapoor in his first movie in 2012 after Rockstar. When he debuted some years ago with the little appreciated Saawariya, audiences wondered if the last scion of the Kapoor clan has what it takes to emulate the success of his uncles, parents and cousin sisters. Playing the lead character in this movie, he steals the show in a Chaplin-inspired performance. His portrayal of Barfi is refreshing, charming, versatile and full of life. In our star-spangled system of Bollywood where media often makes and breaks a life, it is a good time to stand back, and quietly admire Ranbir Kapoor’s evolution to a confident practitioner of his craft.

Southern actress- Illeana D Cruz is confident and graceful in her portrayal as an an upper-class/high profile woman who falls for the spontaneous Barfi against her parents desires. Despite two stalwart performers in tow, Illeana manages to leave her impression on the audiences. She actually makes you wonder if she is a true Bengali girl, with the trademark bong features. As for Bollywood’s Twitter queen Priyanka Chopra, she takes the cake and the whistles away for her de-glamorized and restrained performance of an autistic girl. This is by far her best performance in the ten years that she has spent in the industry. It proves that she is sure ahead of all her contemporaries of this era. The next time you will see Priyanka making a buzz though will be with her music album featuring “Black Eyed Peas” star Will.I.Am. That will surely see her in a super glamorous avatar.

Brilliant performances aside what really works for the movie is the brilliant art design, and the soul-stirring music which is on everyone’s lips. Mostly when directors make a movie on the disabled, they tend to go overboard, or get the audiences to sympathize with the characters in an over the top manner. As showcased by this Barfi movie review the movie has a balanced and positive feel to it forcing the audiences to fall in love with each and every character to the hilt. The faraway landscapes around wonderful Darjeeling, the quaint narrow-gauge toy trains deserve a special mention bringing back memories of songs like ‘Mere Sapno Ki Rani Kab Ayegi Tu’ and ‘Kasto Maza’.

This Barfi movie review enjoys a rating of four stars and is not without its drawbacks. The first half feels stretched and slow as the two characters only talk in sign language. The same symptoms can be seen in the second half of the movie as well. Nevertheless, the movie is able to conjure a sea of emotions among its viewers. Every time Barfi mentioned his name, women ended up breaking their heart a little, every time he kept his head on his father’s chest, they could relate the moments they spent with their dad.

People who have enjoyed Black, Khamoshi and Guzaarish, will enjoy this one too. Those were serious movies wanting to fall into the art film category while this one stands apart as a romantic evocative comedy with a message attached right from the heart. You won’t see Barfi being able to emulate the nonsensical success of Ek Tha Tiger, Rowdy Rathore and the rest as it is not aimed at the masses. It’s is commendable to see mainstream Bollywood coming of age and exploring the realm of meaningful cinema.

Well that’s our unbiased Barfi movie review. It’s worth tasting if you don’t mind shedding a few tears and letting your emotional side come out.