As the end credits rolled reminding me of the beautiful montage from UP, I found myself teary eyed. Barfi had worked its magic and especially the line which Shruti (Ileana Dcruz) says in the end about Love nailed the film for me.
Barfi is part thriller, part love triangle and a wholesome celebration of love and life. In a maze of flashbacks jumping from present day to Kolkatta of 1978 to the old world Darjeeling of 1972 we enter the life and times of Barfi.
Life is beautiful for this Charlie Chaplin meets Roberto Benigni like character called Barfi (Ranbir Kapoor) until he sees Shruti (Ileana Dcruz) and falls in love with her. She reciprocates but dosent have the guts to let her heart make the decision for her and chooses someone else over Barfi. Barfi gets a second chance at love when Jhilmil (Priyanka Chopra) enters his life bringing in a series of adventures which also involves Shruti ending up learning a lot about love and relationships.
Barfi is two movies rolled into one. A love story and a suspense thriller. I think Anurag Basu brought in the thriller bit to keep the audience engaged especially when his story had two differently abled characters. One who can neither speak nor hear (Barfi) and the other an autistic (Jhilmil). He probably didnt want the film to take the serious art film route.
The thriller part gets repetitive and solving the mystery doesnt require the brains of Byomkesh Bakshi or Karamchand still do not let that take you away from the magical world created by Anurag Basu, his DOP Ravi Varma and the lilting melodius music of Pritam.
After Rocket Singh and Rockstar, Barfi is that hat trick of a performance for Ranbir Kapoor. My favorite is still Rocket Singh. I had serious doubts about Priyanka Chopra pulling off this role because playing an autistic is much more difficult than playing deaf, mute, blind etc. The body language can make it look caricatured but Priyanka hits all the right notes here. I could see the hunger in her to nail the part right and not disappoint her director. And thank god Ileana Dcruz was no Fakhri who spoiled Rockstar for me. If these 3 performances wouldnt have been in sync with each other the film would have lost the charm and magic that it holds.
For those who have lived in 70s it will make you nostalgic with things like murphy radio, old jingles, Good Ricke chai and my favorite - getting bartans inked with name and date. I dont know if people still do it but I have fond memories of the same.
And for those who have ever broken someones heart by thinking from the mind rather than the heart Barfi will make you question your decision because the message Barfi gives out is Bina soche samjhe pyar karo toh zindagi barfeen ho jaayegi.
Word of mouth - Barfi is an ode to all those unfulfilled love stories in which mind took decisions which were meant to be taken by the heart.
Rating **** (Very Good)
Ticket meter - Rush to a theatre near you. NOW!