Landscapes woven out of an artist’s dream, streets that flush meadows in daylight, people who appear and are human, love that has touched the arms of divinity. ‘Barfi!’ is straight out of a folklore that doesn’t exist. Rather, you and me don’t know if it ever did.
In the last 15+ years of Indian Cinema, filmmakers have evolved, writers got back to the drawing boards that was probably alive during the early 70s till mid 80s and audiences are demanding more than a mere 150 minute potboiler sans sense and sensibilities. Anurag Basu, for me, has joined that elite bandwagon. Or at least, he has embarked on a fascinating road.
Barfi, Shruti and Jhilmil are rare protagonists in a script that’s woven around their vulnerable lives. One is disabled minus speech and sound, an autistic young girl who still is alive enough to emote and the third, is fulfilled with the right organs but without the sting that makes life meaningful. Barfi and Shruti share beautiful chemistry but the sustainability matrix falters in the ask of a society that never understands the intrinsics of human yore. It does also reflect upon failed relationships wherein we start living our life on the staircases of compromise and ‘that’s my fate’ attitude. Desires play a vital role as well, and seldom do they go hand in hand with what the heart says. Shruti exits (briefly though) and Jhilmil squashes in with a cherubic dose of innocence. Barfi, despite his limitations, is notorious and charming. His camaraderie with Jhilmil is magnetic and keeps you engrossed. Shruti shrugs her inhibitions (along with her family) to come back but she loses Barfi to Jhilmil. A limitless story unwinds in the backdrop, but for me, the 3 stand out as the yolk remains enriched. Obviously so.
Terrific performances make ‘Barfi’ memorable. Post ‘Rajneeti’, and ‘Rockstar’, Ranbir Kapoor’s big ticket is ‘Barfi’. His histrionics gave us a glimpse of an actor in the making and he has carried it off in style. Priyanka Chopra gives us a stunning Jhilmil with lots to rave about and has showcased immense courage to take up this act at this stage of her career (7 Khoon Maaf still remains a personal favourite though). Ileana D’Cruz is my surprise pic of ‘Barfi’. Not out of this world, but certainly a notable performance as debutante. She still has that plastic touch but saw less of it here and Anurag has worked well with her. A performance well within herself, she does look ravishing as the Bong girl. A well written script with precise screenplay treated impeccably, Anurag Basu has delivered a thorough winner.
I wouldn’t claim ‘Burfi!’ to be unique though. ‘Black’, ‘Taare Zameen Par’ and ‘ Guzarish’ have been such marvels in their own zenith but I would rate this as ‘audaciously penned’.
Oscar or no Oscar, ‘Burfi!’ is a craftsman’s delight. It would have worked very well in Mars or Jupiter, it most definitely doesn’t belong to the inhabitants of this planet. I might just head to the theatres next week to taste the sweetness of life, again.