I had been missing for a long time now. Not missing in real life, but in this virtual creative literature world. I love to sleep- a lot. My nap time is over; not that somebody threw a bucket of icy cold water over me. So what have I done after coming out of the comfy cocoon? Did a lot of things. Climbed Mt Everest, swam across Arctic, wrestled with a beer, bungee jumped from Eiffel Tower, shook hands with her highness Queen Elizabeth and became best buddies with Mr Obama. Don’t believe me? Ok! I was just kidding. No feats to my name as such. No, I am not Flipkart.com. Although I hear they’re good. To the matter at hand- I apologize to whosoever limited readers I do have, actual or fictional, for taking hibernation. Fear no more. I am back and back with more potential energy and all the things in the world to blabber about.
Watched Barfi! last night; I should have learnt from my mistakes of Kahaani, Pyaar Ka Punchnama and Band Baaja Baraat. Better late than never. It kept me thinking… It is late, and by this time half the Indian population on Facebook knows about it. But still I say it here. Why? You’ll know. Barfi! is a story of a mute and deaf guy named Barfi and his unresolved, eternal relationship with two girls one of whom is autistic. Ranbir Kapoor portrays the role of the protagonist, while the sultry Priyanka Chopra plays the character of Jhilmil Chatterjee, an autistic girl and debutant Ileana D’Cruz as Shruti Sengupta. Saurabh Shukla is the Sub Inspector Sudhanshu Dutta who is always in an attempt to catch Barfi because of his nuisances and plays another vital role. The story is set 70s in the backdrop of Darjeeling and some of the parts in Calcutta and Kerala. Barfi is mischievous, smart, funny, kind, loving. Also he’s a master escapist; not like Houdini, like Chaplin, Mr Chalie Chaplin. The way he runs around, uses his environment to his good use, is simply amazing. Ranbir Kapoor could not be any better! This is his by far, THE SUPERIOR MOST performance. So refined, so vivid, so lively and so perfect! Way to go- another superstar in making. Priyanka Chopra has stripped down from her seductress avatar and showcased something she’s never done before, something Miss Kat would not and could never do. May be she got inspiration from Vidya Balan that box-office cannot get you a silver lotus. Miss Ileana D’Cruz, welcome to the Bloodywood. Oops Bollywood. Most of the South Indian actresses come with a blizzard and pass away like a wind. I hope your stay here remain unfettered with undulating viewers’ demands, nevertheless pleasant.
The biggest surprise of this movie for me was the director- Anurag Basu. Given his history, I was half willed and full disdained about Barfi!. Oh it is no secret the love of the people for his kind of directors. A few such include Rohit Shetty, Mohit Suri, Anish Bazmee and the Khan Siblings. I still cannot believe Mr Basu is behind this marvelous drama. He must be on some kind of happy pill like Bradley Cooper in Limitless. Or somebody else directed it, secretly, like Shakespeare and his plays. How did he get so much talented overnight? Did he bump his head into something or what? It’s like a jump from the social need to Self Actualization in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid. The direction is well defined, far too refined, perfection inclined and silver lined. Every minute details are eyed upon like the old one Rupee notes as tips to the cycle and tea brands in 70s. The perfection sometimes seemed superficial. Those who know me personally are aware of my awareness, criticism and sense of realism on screen. Most of the scenes are direct rip-offs from several Korean, Chinese and Charlie Chaplin Movies. Mr Basu, you have made a generous contribution to the Indian cinema history and I hope you will rip the guts off the cinemas foreign to Bollywood in your your upcoming movies too.
Another surprise for me was the music. When I heard the songs in the promos, I thought AR Rahman was the man behind the band baaja. Alas, ‘twas not but Pritam! Just when I thought he’s not at par with S-E-L or Rahman, he delivered Barfi!. The music is contemporary rock and has a Bengali band touch to it. Nilesh Mishra, Swanand Kirkire and Sayeed Qadri have penned down the tune words and Pritam has made another rip-off of the year. Tunes are finely tuned from the master records of Amelie, etc. Even then the tracks are good to the ears.
The plot is slow paced and keeps itself interesting. You will be amazed how the places, even the minutest and mundane things like ceiling fans or wrist watch, have been belonging to the 70s. There are three popular movies which have come to screen this year by Bengali directors- Kahaani by Sujoy Ghosh, Vicky Donor by Shoojit Sircar and this one. The biggest irony of all is these movies are well accepted in this country where chocolaty celebrities’ popcorn flicks containing above the ground action scenes and slow motion mambo jumbo sequences with a story a five year old can cook. The protagonists are portrayed as super humans and their facial expressions are similar to having an erectile dysfunction. This year it has been 7 movies which have crossed 100 crore rupees box office collection, out of which I believe none has a novel, plausible, logical and intellectual plot. My well wishers are gonna make me ill if I say include Agneepath specifically in this list. Most, if not all are, let us say, nonsensical garrulous scripts written by the 7 year olds for their homework assignment. The film is sent as India’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film nomination for the 85th Academy Awards in February 2013. Good decision Govt of India. Another foreign trip and free entry to the prestigious long luscious red carpet of the Dolby Theater. Another epic moment to show how dumb, copycats and shameless we are. Let us give the world another reason to objectify India. At least we can be better relieved because, it was not Ek Tha Tiger or Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Phew!
Although nothing is original at least of the places, it is simple yet funny. The undulating love, sincerity and caring between two people are bound to captivate and shake every emotions one does have. Absence the nonsense and words, Barfi is going to stun you every minute, every second, every frame. At times you will clap, you will laugh, you will remain silent and there will be times when you let your eyes go only because you cannot hold them no more. By the end of the movie you will be whirling in the emotional waters treading out something which you won’t be able to explain reasonably enough, yet, satisfying…very much satisfying because of a utopia you desire inside your heart now. The director has declared the movie as an homage to Mr Charlie Chaplin. I am really skeptical that he can differentiate between homage and plagiarism.
If you can forget and ignore the rumors and the word on the streets, it will be a movie to remember. Ignorance is bliss!! Just sit back and immerse. May be you will not be disappointed. Coming to an end, I could not refrain myself from writing this so far. Giving a rating will be a dishonor to the movie and a challenge to my acuity. I think Anuraag Basu has attended Harvard and Pritam has a honorary doctorate in music from The Oxford, about which nobody knows anything about. I therefore say these final words for this- if you are a first timer/ have less experience in non-Indian movies/ have too much love for the hindi cinema/ not from a literature background/ believe English movie are copies from everywhere/ casual viewer/ stubborn jackass, chance are most likely you will like this movie. To me, it is a disgrace that we the people of India like to be fools and be fooled. Despite its shortcomings and flawed story, I give this 7/10, because of the four primary actors’ performance and some moments. I bid adieu with anticipation that there will be more to this sensation and promise that I will tell every story that brings forth so. I hope no mob is waiting outside my door for my “erratic”, against-the-trend and bitter review.