Not many Bollywood films in recent years have brought tears in the eyes and smiles on the face of the viewers, that too simultaneously without trying. 3 Idiots was one such movie that made people laugh and cry at the same time, and now Barfi joins the club. For a film that relies on idiosyncrasies of the leading man rather than on dialogues, Barfi has managed to win the hearts of all those who have seen it by just being as sweet as a Barfi!
Directed by Anurag Basu (Gangster, Life in a Metro), Barfi is a one-man show, the man being Barfi (played brilliantly by Ranbir Kapoor). It revolves around the life and times, as well as the adventures of Barfi who is sweet by nature, mute by birth and hilarious by default. He considers himself a gift to the female community and tries to charm all the ladies he comes across – all in good faith. The film is shot in documentary style where Sound on Tape (SOTs) of the characters are shown to take a break from the normal storyline, and it looks good.
The plot revolves around the kidnapping of Jhilmil, the involvement of Barfi as well as his love life with both Shruti and Jhilmil. The story takes place in the past as well as the present which keeps the viewers engrossed. In the end, all loose ends are tied and the viewer goes back home a happy person, something only a great film would be able to do. The director should also be commended on coming up with a visually striking film, where flashbacks and the present are merged exceedingly well.
The leading ladies in the film - Ileana D’Cruz and Priyanka Chopra – also make their presence felt by matching up to the histrionics of Barfi. While the former makes her Bollywood debut and impresses with her good looks and confidence as Shruti Ghosh, the latter shocks all by playing Jhilmil – an autistic who is the exact opposite of Shruti. Priyanka is neither glamorous nor able to talk properly, but even then she gives a stellar performance, one she could be proud of.
Just like he did in Rockstar, Ranbir propels Barfi towards success by being different. Although many debate that he is aping his grandfather Raj Kapoor in the slapstick comedy scenes, whatever he does makes you smile. Be it changing the time of the clock tower or following the train on a bicycle, he is simply at his best. And he does all this while portraying a deaf and mute character, who is a loser all the way, but returns a winner in the end.