The story of six young Indians who assist an English Woman to film a documentary on the extremist freedom fighters from their past, and the events that lead them to relive the long forgotten saga of freedom.
Set in the 1970s in a pretty corner of India, Barfi! is the story of three young people who learn that love can neither be defined nor contained by society's norms of normal and abnormal. Barfi, a hearing and speech impaired boy falls in love with Shruti. In spite of her deep affection for Barfii, Shruti gives into societal and parental pressure to marry a 'normal' man and lead a 'normal' life. Many years later their paths cross once again when Barfi, now in love with Jhilmil, is on the run from the police. Barfi is desperately seeking Jhilmil, who has gone missing. Shruti's realization that Jhilmil is autistic makes her recognize that true love is really blind. Caught in a cat and mouse game, in the search for the girl Barfi loves, Shruti realizes that she is still in love with him. She must now choose between her happiness and Barfi! stars three of India's most loved young stars, all essaying roles of a lifetime. The uber cool Ranbir Kapoor plays the lead role of Barfi!, the very ... Written by
This is a fable, a beautifully shot, light, airy, bubbly fable. It will make you laugh. A lot. And cry, or mist up, a little. If you're still not a fan of Ranbir, you will walk away as one. And the background songs just don't stop playing in your head.
There are some deeper layers, as well. Why is it in India that we cannot take care of our disabled children ? Why do we get threatened by them, so scared of social approbation that we are willing to abandon our own flesh and blood, despite having the means to look after them ? Why is it that playing safe seems to be ingrained in our blood ? In love, 9 times out of 10, we will choose the guy who is rich and doesn't make us cry to the guy who is poor but makes us laugh ?
Ranbir, a deaf, mute, has never let this inhibit him. He is always happy and always upto something, not all if it legal, much to the chagrin of the local cop, Saurabh Shukla, who blames him singlehandedly for reducing his waist size from a respectable 52 to a mundane 42. He falls in love with the elite, gorgeous girl, visiting Darjeeling, Ileana. She is engaged to be married to Jishu, a prize catch, the dream of every girl in college. But she has never encountered anyone as free spirited as Ranbir.
Ranbir, though, is the son of a lowly driver. Who works for another elite, powerful family. Who have an autistic daughter, Priyanka. Who has been left in an old age home, Muskaan, run by the gentle, ageing, Haradhan Bandhopadhyay. When Priyanka's nana, the man who runs the house with an iron fist, but has a soft corner for his grand daughter, decides to bring her back due to his ill health, the lives of all the characters get affected and change
The photography and the music is so good that I'm out of superlatives here. Am sure tourist traffic to Darjeeling is going to increase and the music of this film will be played many years from now, a rarity in todays world, where songs struggle for a shelf life beyond three months. Am not so sure about the editing. The flashbacks, the talking heads. Not sure they were needed in a story which was reasonably fast paced and as entertaining as this. Its almost become a fad now, to not tell a story linearly
Ranbir is amazing. Gets every expression just right. Whether his happy face, the ridiculous expressions he uses to make others laugh, his angry 'speech', or his bewildered look when things go wrong, as they have a tendency to do with him. Ileana is stunning in western dresses, early on in the film. She is nice as the adarsh Bengali nari later on, but didn't think much of her older avatar. Undeniably a great actress. Priyanka proves her acting chops once again, conveying her battles with her inner demons appropriately
Special praise for Saurabh Shukla. The film would've been flat without his Hardy to Ranbir's Laurel. Or Bhola Raja Sapkota, Ranbir's comrade in arms and translator in chief. Or Rupa Ganguly, Ilena's mother, who understands her daughter's predicament and does what she thinks is best for her.
Amongst the moments of the film are the opening credits (set to the song 'Film shuru), the comic chase sequences between Saurabh and Ranbir. The Darjeeling scenes between Ranbir and Ileana on the train, or cycle or even the horse. And the scene when Haradhan bawls his eyes out, when the apple of his eye, Priyanka leaves the ashram, is just touching beyond belief.
After a long time, a film which doesn't just show perfect, rich, urban people. But people who, despite their imperfections, seem determined to be happy. There is a lesson in there for all of us. More at ww.apurvbollywood.blogspot.com
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