Anurag Basu's 'Barfi!' had left me overwhelmed, on hindsight the narrative might not have been completely flawless but sometimes, we need imperfect fairy-tales that reassure us that there's still a lot to be happy about.
Anupama Chopra says in her review:
In Barfi, writer-director Anurag Basu creates a gossamer, fairy-tale world. Sometime in the 1970s, somewhere in the misty hills of Darjeeling, a penniless but irresistibly charming deaf-mute boy named Barfi gets the prettiest girl in town to kiss him. But their sweetly awkward love affair comes undone, after which Barfi embarks on an adventure with an autistic girl. Somehow these two, on their own, manage to survive the city of Kolkata - Barfi gets a job and even a ramshackle house with a spectacular view of Howrah Bridge. To point out that this is unlikely seems churlish. Because Barfi is designed to be a bittersweet, tender fable.
Whatever may be the pitfalls in the storytelling; critics remain unanimous that Ranbir Kapoor has belted out yet another exceptional performance that will remain unparalleled by his contemporaries for quite a while. Rajeev Masand in his review points out one such instance:
Barfi falls for the delicately pretty Shruti (Ileana D'cruz), whom he woos relentlessly. But, in a scene lifted straight out of The Notebook, Shruti is reminded why their romance can have no happy ending. In a later scene, one of the best in this film, Barfi wordlessly acknowledges the gaping divide between Shruti and himself. Gesturing towards his torn pockets, his ripped shoe, his inability to hear or speak, Ranbir beautifully conveys Barfi's deep hurt at being rejected. His life finds new meaning when he's saddled with his childhood friend Jhilmil (Priyanka Chopra), an autistic girl belonging to a wealthy local family.
Not everyone was charmed by Barfi! is magical but deeply flawed, Raja Sen in his review says that, "Barfi! is magical but deeply flawed":
He is then to be commended for his latest, Barfi!, a film that admirably refuses to yank the sympathy cord. Instead, it creates genuine characters and a truly charming relationship before, alas, one of his lead characters chooses not to follow the director's example and instead mistakes sympathy for love, making for a lesser film than it deserved to be.
I guess some of us were completely forgiving of the little misdirection because 'Barfi!' is such a special film. Taran Adarsh says in his review:
On the whole, BARFI! is unusual for Bollywood. You don't formulate movies like BARFI! targeting its box-office potential or its commercial prospects. You create such films for the passion of cinema. BARFI! is akin to a whiff of fresh air. Its foremost triumph is that it leaves you with a powerful emotion: Happiness! I sincerely believe, no Hindi movie buff should deprive himself/herself of watching this brilliant motion picture. Also, the viewer needs to savor Ranbir, Priyanka and Ileana's paramount performances, one of the strengths of this movie. Strongly recommended!
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