I watched Barfi and I liked it. This is NOT a review- I’m not qualified enough, this is an opinion.
I went basically because I’m a Ranbir fan. All drooleth over the guy, you know- who isn’t? Irrespective of whether or not the movie has done well, Ranbir has always done a good job. 5 years, 11 movies- all of which may or may not have done well commercially (Saawariya, Rocket Singh, Rockstar etc.) but you need to see that he’s done well for himself. As Murphy and as an actor. A lot like Abhishek Bachchan (fangirl + logic = He’s done a great job in all movies, even in trashy ones like Dhoom 2 and Dhai Akshar Prem Ke) So I did go to watch him (Ranbir).
He’s expressive, he’s just done yet another great job. Murphy’s a vision of Anurag Basu brought to life by Ranbir. One shot I really loved was the pull-finger-fart one. Notice the high-five after that? There was no shor-sharaaba in it. He just casually puts out his hand and his father puts out his. Unlike other Bollywood exchanges, this doesn’t linger even a moment more. Like in real life. I will try imitating that lubricated move for a long time, but I doubt it will ever be as subconsciously done as Ranbir did it. That and every other shot has been so perfect that I will only fall deeper for this guy and hope to elope with him.
Ileana on her part was decent. I don’t know the logic behind casting her, new face or otherwise- but what I liked about her were the conflicted scenes. The one in which her mother questions her about Barfi, post-horse ride-night. Or the one where she has the ticket in hand. You know she’ll get on to the train, but she waits that one more moment after your heart sinks to make her move. And finally- when she has the choice of not turning around when Jhilmil calls. Ileana is decent, with sparks of good.
Another role I like in the movie was Rupa Ganguly. Subtle. To the point. Like a real mother- irrespective of era and state. She figured her daughter and put the dilemma as simply as she could. And that one moment where her college/youth love interest looks from his lumbering? The recognition? Skill.
But what stunned me most- and I must say the story belongs to her, at least for me- is Priyanka. Impeccable. Precise. Thanks to the cinematographer, even beautiful in her teary-eyed, upset moments. I’ll compare her acting as Jhilmil to Amitabh’s as Auro. Not for a second did I see a fleeting super-stardom peep from the guise of the character. Yes, some critics have called her an autistic child, but I don’t blame them. Autism does make you relate the person to a child- with their awkward control of emotions. I do not like Priyanka, my intolerance of her in most cases is almost embarrassing. I still don’t think she’s a great actress.
The point however, is that Ranbir outdoes himself in every movie. This was another instance. I’ve gone through the feeling 10 times before. But Priyanka is a wreck in most movies. She has performed in this one (If ‘Fashion’ is your argument, overruled). So if for 41 previous miserably failed attempts she’s given me this, I’ll say she’s done a brilliant job-not that she’s a good actress. Hence, credit to the direction and the script.
The saddest thing about the movie, and about the audience that it has been presented to, is that the audience would rather have their dose of happy masala. It’s about time we stopped taking mindless entertainment as a compliment to the filmmaker. That statement only means that the filmmaker has been able to put together some elements that make the normal person laugh and cry and forget about; which, honestly- my parents are very capable of in a single day. Barfi has been presented to an audience wanting temporary respite from their frowns- not to those aspiring to never get their frowns back. I blame neither the filmmakers nor the audience- commerce drives the world. An ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ is necessary for everyone to up their collars. and deepen their pockets.
I don’t know if the movie or the music has been duplicated from elsewhere, and frankly- that is not my concern. I just think that the product I watched, laughed with and gasped out aloud with, as if I was part of the movie and on cue, was sweet. I don’t think it changed my life. I don’t think I will be more sensitive to less-abled people. I just think that as a product it is complete. I liked the music, I sang along with it- and I was concerned where I had to be.
It made me respect one girl in the industry that I had no time or love for, and it strengthened my argument for Ranbir Kapoor and why I think he’s the best we have in mainstream, commercial cinema (the female counterpart being Kareena Kapoor, irrespective of how Heroine turns out to be.)