Barfi is the sweetest slice of love soaked in Darjeeling freshness, poignant silence and visual brilliance.
There are moments and moments that draw you in like a warm embrace in the midst of Darjeeling Pine trees and linger like the aftertaste of aromatic tea. One such take home moment is a simple shot of Priyanka and Ranbir sleeping, their small finger entwined, evocatively tender in blissful togetherness.
Born deaf and mute , named after Murphy baby(made famous in commercials ), he blurts out his name as Barfi. This only makes him a master at Chaplinesque chases and charming expressions especially when it comes to love. The moment he sets eyes on the lovely Shruti Ghosh(Ileana D’Cruz) while cycling along with a train, his antics bring back the gentle, honest romance that can only belong in the hills. He follows her around, offers her his heart at her feet which she kicks playfully and so begins an affair to remember with playful bicycle races and stolen horse rides. Elaine’s engagement ring proves to be his heartbreak.
Destiny throws him a damsel in distress, Jhilmil( Priyanka)an autistic granddaughter of a rich man.Barfi’s father is her dad’s drive. Barfi has grown up, tossing his shoe in the air, outside her balcony, appearing somewhere like a cross between Romeo and Raj Kapoor of Awara days. In a desperate bid to save his ailing father from dying in hospital, he plans Jhilmil’s kidnap. A touching yet entertaining tale of lasting love follows, as 6 years later in a runaway trail, Barfi finds himself face to face with the married first love,Shruti
Anurag Basu’s story, screenplay and direction, co written by Tani Basu with dialogues by Sanjeev Dutta weave together a beautiful take on love, straight from the heart. The naughty characterisation of Ranbir saves the tale of a deaf and mute boy and an autistic girl from getting either preachy or melodramatic. Treated with dollops of slapstick humour providing several laugh out loud moments, the non linear screenplay intrigues with the kidnap angle and engages with an otherwise regular love triangle. Barfi, mostly a silent film stringed together with several moments of innocent love, is told through Ileana’s narrative which makes it all the more poignant, bringing in unfulfilled love and painful regret along with the innocence of true love as seen from her eyes.
Basu’s blindingly dazzling visual sense is heightened by Ravi Verma’s magical cinematography.Playful,clever shots are experimented with, bringing in amusing moments with a paintbrush and a canvas. Pritam’s super melodious music loops you in along with heartwarming lyrics(Swanand Kirkire) like “Phir le aaya dil…woh jo adhoori si baat baaki hai.. in Rekha Bhardwaj’s haunting voice that tugs at the tear ducts.
Magical wonderboy,Ranbir Kapoor steals the show with a performance that makes it impossible to take your eyes off his Chaplinesque acting leaving dialogues redundant. In a particular scene where he lets out momentary heartbroken rage melting instantly into loving forgiveness, Ranbir displays sheer brilliance in his agony. Priyanka manages to hold her own with eyes and body language that speak volumes. Iliana’s debut is very noteworthy, considering she essays a simpler role with remarkable conviction and endearing charm. Rupa Ganguly and Saurabh Shukla are noticeable as always with their realistic performances.
Barfi is a silent,powerful Cupid’s arrow aimed straight at your heart.