REVIEW: BARFI


BARFI
One of my all-time favourite Indian sweet dishes is BARFI; particularly the KAJU BARFI. Also referred popularly as KAJU KATLI, a combination of several features makes it plain irresistible. It could be its perfectly symmetrical “diamond” shape (as is referred in Indian homes) or the fact that it is not a cloying sweet (which means that one can have two or three pieces at one go) or the sheer taste of the constituents. After watching Anurag Basu’s newest directorial effort, BARFI, I wish I could say that it seems to coincidentally have all that I feel about the dessert Barfi! It is visually beautiful, is not cloying despite its sentimental nature and has outstanding performances by Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra. The performance of two other actors, Saurabh Shukla and the debutante Ileana D’Cruz is also commendable. Yet, as a whole, BARFI falls short of delivering what could have been a masterpiece.
Coming from a director who has given us thrillers like GANGSTER and MURDER and an absolutely useless presentation like KITES, BARFI, which ranks as a fine human drama definitely comes as a surprise. Wonder whether Anurag, who, on the personal front, has successfully fought the battle against cancer, has fashioned Ranbir’s character in the movie to mirror his own experiences: rejection followed by discovery of love in a different manner. And therefore, BARFI is not about rejection or someone craving for sympathy; it actually is about celebrating life with all the pluses and minuses. Ranbir’s emoting is brilliant and imbues the movie with so much of life without having to speak a single word that he becomes the favourite for the best actor performance. Coming as it does after his portrayal last year in ROCKSTAR, it establishes him as undoubtedly the best one in his field today amongst the new gen stars.
As the autistic girl, Priyanka also carries conviction in her role and some of the scenes featuring these two actors are touching without being maudlin. My best scene of the movie is the one in which Ranbir finds a bystander ogling at Priyanka’s exposed leg and taunts that person to look at his hairy leg instead by raising his trouser!
BARFI could be faulted for not a very realistic set of sequences, but if one were to view it as a fable and not as a real life drama, this could be overlooked. Ranbir’s designer tops certainly are pleasing to the eye, and even fits his colourful character, but he is poor and can ill afford such clothes! But the biggest detraction comes from the flashback mode of storytelling. The to and fro flitting across the time periods actually causes a lot of jarring and even confusion in the minds of audiences. The second element is the length; it is inexorably long for a story of this kind. Gulzar’s KOSHISH still stands out for the perfect depiction of love between two physically challenged beings. But even the sweet BARFI has a big negative: its calorie intensity!
RATING: 3.5 out of 5
September 22. 2012

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About Vijay from Muscat

A cheerful person who loves watching and reviewing movies and indulges in random writings!
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