Chaa Gayi Barfi- Panti

Disclaimer- If you are looking out for an out and out laugh riot ( ala golmaal, bol bachchan and their like), kindly avoid this piece of cinema. Your appetite for guffaws won’t be satisfied here.

But, on the other hand, If you’re looking for a cinematic experience, then, read on.

Barfi is one of the very rare bollywood films that’s devoid of a genre. It’s not a laugh riot. Neither is it a melodrama. It’s not a musical either. It’s a simple, yet beautifully under stated film that emphasizes on nuances and hence, stands tall above all it’s peers. It’s gives you the feeling that every frame, every gesture, every subtle emotion was created by the director- especially for the protagonists.

The most intriguing of all, is our protagonist, Barfi. Unlike most of the other flicks, where deaf and dumb characters get away with the sympathy of the audience ( Koshish( 1972), Khamoshi( 1996), Barfi is a multi faceted mischief monger.

To the local police, he’s Dennis the menace. To his lady love, he’s peter pan- with dreamy eyes that promise her happiness forever. To his other lady love, Jhilmil, he’s the provider and the guardian angel. And, to his father, he’s the doting yet mischievous son, who doesn’t shy away from showing affection to his father. Here, Director Basu succeeds in creating a memorable character, who touches every chord in your heart, in his unique way.

Barfi’s first love is Shruti, who leaves him the lurch and walks away into a seemingly blissful marriage. He is left alone and heartbroken. But, the optimist in him never gives up. Even as his lady love walks away from him, he is there to wish her the best.

Enter the autistic girl, Jhilmil Chatterjee. The initial relationship between Barfi and Jhilmil is that of mutual dependency. Grudgingly, Barfi accepts her responsibility and as the story progresses, Barfi realizes that no matter what, Jhilmil will always be by his side. It’s this part of the story that really takes your breath away because Director Basu, handles the emotional underplay with unparalleled dexterity.

The music by Pritam, takes you back to a bygone era- when melody was king. The songs have been placed at the perfect moments which make them a part of the film itself.

Another unique element that you will find in this film is the background score. Here, the music says what Barfi cannot express. Every piece of music, is unique and expressive and touches you heart, at just the right places.

The lighting and camera work are brilliant. As you watch this film, you will feel that every frame was hand crafted just for that moment. Watch out for the tender moments between Barfi and Jhilmil. The simplicity and innocence will leave you speechless.

The performances by Ranbeer kapoor( Barfi), Shruti (Illena D cruz) and Jhilmil ( Priyanka Chopra) are credible and filled with subtlety. Of the three, Ranbeer shines as Barfi. His eyes emote. His body language is spot on. Priyanka Chopra, carves a niche for herself as the autistic girl, who has no understanding of the matters of the heart, but still feels that tug in heart when Barfi is close to her. Illena gives a restrained performance that goes with her character.

What drags the film down are the shoddy visual effects work and the glaring loop holes in the plot line. Picture this- There’s this really beautiful moment between Barfi and Jhilmil that gets screwed just because of some dirty effects work. Also, there are places where one can see fake hoardings ( Avon Cycles, Murphy radio etc) that have been slapped onto their real life counterparts.

But, to you, all of this won’t matter. Because you will be too busy enjoying Barfi’s ride through this great adventure called life. You will be smiling, laughing, and shedding a silent tear or two as you watch the antics of this adorable character. And you’ll feel the magic of “barfi panti” envelope you from head to toe.

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~ by Shreeraj on September 18, 2012.

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