"Take movies, music, poetry out of life & its gone!"
BARFI - Sorry, for me its more a Priyanka's masterpiece than a Ranbir's triumph. (Review by Bobby Sing)
14 Sep, 2012 | Movie Reviews / 2012 Releases

When I first heard about Burfi, the relationship of its title with the radio Murfy and its story plot revolving around differently able characters then I didn’t get excited enough as the idea straight away reminded me of Dustin Hoffman and his worth watching RAINMAN. Director Anurag Basu was another reason of my indifferent response towards the film, as I was hugely disappointed by his KITES after a well made METRO (despite of being inspired from more than one western classic). The soundtrack of the film, apart from its rare lyrical value also failed to give me any highs as provided by Pritam in his melodious soundtrack of METRO. Priyanka Chopra too couldn’t send me any positive vibes through her glimpses shown in the film’s promos and I frankly wasn’t interested in watching another tearjerker exploiting the difficult moments of few specially-abled characters without any basic storyline.

So all together there were only two reasons why I wished to see BARFI.
One it was the Raj Kapoor kind of a silent Chaplin act perfectly done by his own talented grandson Ranbir Kapoor and two, the appealingly gorgeous South’s superstar Ileana D’Cruz making her debut in a Hindi film posing as a Bengali girl. Hence I entered the theater with these limited expectation of mine and then came out largely satisfied with a pleasant surprise which was not at all expected, quite honestly.
The delightful surprise was that contrary to all the praises being showered upon Ranbir Kapoor in so many high star reviews in the media, for me the film was more a milestone achievement of Priyanka Chopra than the over-publicized classy triumph of Ranbir. Undoubtedly Ranbir is there with one of his career best performances as the dumb and deaf boy who falls in love with an autistic girl. But truly speaking, I found the depth missing in his character throughout the film which resurfaces and touches you deep inside only in the last 20 minutes and not before that.
Hence you may find this write-up in sharp contrast with many other praising BARFI for their various reasons. But I have a major difference of opinion here about the film which is certainly a worth watching experience if you talk about performances. But at the same time it isn’t an emotionally moving film in totality keeping apart its final reels which successfully manage to impress you in the end.
Now basic reason behind this perception of mine is that first of all BARFI has a confusing and less focused script which keeps wandering between comedy and sympathy in an imbalanced manner. Plus the story has many more avoidable angles of greed, murder and mystery which take the focus out of its main theme and you feel distracted. Actually in order to make it a light hearted, fun filled & commercially viable project, the director keeps on adding many funny gags and Chaplin kind of sequences every 10 minutes into the film (till the climax), which neither allow you to feel for its childish character emotionally nor let you laugh along with him whole heartedly. And that in reality takes away all the seriousness out of the film which might work as a beneficial plan for earning money but it surely isn’t the right move for the film made on this particular subject and storyline.
In other words, both before and after intermission it is more like a collage of different comic scenes which get the complete support from its actors, cinematography and background score. So you do enjoy them till they last on the screen but still don’t get a collective major impact of the movie in the end as always seen in such ventures having a lovingly emotional conclusion.
Moreover the plot of BARFI is also based on very questionably and unrealistic norms where two differently abled characters perfectly manage to live with each other, without the help of any third person for a considerable period of time. And that too, when one of them is an autistic grown up girl, who definitely needs a female assistance for her daily movements and a loving explanation for her other natural body developments.
The soundtrack of the film has been widely appreciated both by the reviewers and listeners. But here too I found the lyrical beauty of the songs much ahead than their melody part, which could have taken them to a different height altogether. This time its definitely a novel and appreciable score from Pritam wherein he has taken extra care in his subtle arrangements and rendition by his well chosen singers. But still melody wise, it isn’t a METRO and I personally feel that one might enjoy the lyrics as mere poetry much more than the songs recorded for some special situations. However I did enjoy the opening titles track and the ghazal on the screen as it made a better impact together in the script.
Taking up the most talked about feature of this movie i.e. its performances; I strongly feel that it is a wrongly publicized project giving all the emphasis to only its one lead character, taking the limelight away from all the other deserved candidates in the film. May be its a strategy planned by the makers to sell it as a Ranbir Kapoor movie (which is sure going to get them sure shot buyers and viewers), but for me BARFI is arguably a Priyanka movie much more than a Ranbir Kapoor film. In fact Priyanka surprised me as a shock since I was never expecting such an authentic and touching portrayal of an autistically challenged girl by the lady who has come a long way from an International beauty contest winner model turning into an actress. Priyanka has been selecting very challenging and out of the box roles in the last few years and that surely is going to take her places for sure in the near future. Her performance in BARFI is undoubtedly her career best till date and I would even like to rate it a step above than Ranbir too because of a basic reason.
Ranbir Kapoor in BARFI, as revealed in its promos is simply exceptional and there is no second opinion about that. The boy reminds you of two great masters of their art, Raj Kapoor and Charlie Chaplin with his single act. But his outstanding performance is mainly dependent upon all the comic sequences with which he regularly provides the much needed laughter in the film based on such challenging characters. And as I said earlier I felt no depth in his stupid kind of character which is actually the fault of his writers. The viewers enjoy watching him mostly because he is more or less entertaining them with his novel face making techniques, innocent gestures and Chaplin-like sequences. But Priyanka doesn’t get that kind of comfort zone in her character and that’s what gives her an edge over the more likable act of Ranbir posing as Barfi. And believe me being in a position where Priyanka is today, its not easy to go for this kind of role with such conviction without caring about any kind of image change or competition in the Industry.
So as I feel it was not risky for Ranbir to say Yes for BARFI as he was bound to walk away with all the praises and claps from the audiences due to the comic touch present in his disabled character. But it was surely a big risky preposition for Priyanka to opt for the role of JHILMIL and for this she certainly deserves a much bigger applause than what is being given to her both by the viewers and the media. To be precise, I found many commercial elements in Ranbir’s act specially added to please the audience but didn’t find the same anywhere in Priyanka’s honest attempt. Still its not easy to enthrall the audience for more than two hours without speaking a single word and that indeed is nothing short of a lifetime achievement made by both the reputed actors.
Completing the triangle there is another extremely talented girl from the South, who straight away announces that she is much ahead than many reputed Hindi film actresses both in the terms of beauty and talent. The girl is Ileana D’Cruz making a confident debut in BARFI and her character is going to be loved by one and all without any exception. Supporting the three, Saurabh Shukla is here in his famous form, Rupa Ganguly with her sensitive approach to life and other actors who add their own sparkles to the film with their small but notable acts.
Director Anurag Basu once again shows his regained abilities which were simply not there in his KITES. With BARFI he has bounced back strongly scoring a big score but still it cannot be called a clear century from the veteran in my opinion. Continuing with his trademark musicians visible in several scenes, the director has extracted some milestones performances from his lead actors and has made a largely satisfying project which is sure to get appreciation from all corners. However personally I found Anurag at his best only when Ranbir, Priyanka and Illeana get together in the film till its final sequence, which actually is the most impactful part of the movie as I felt.
To conclude, BARFI is indisputably one of those few films which do have some exceptional, career best performances given under a fine direction. But it still somehow fails to generate a collective impact on the viewer in the end, missing the target with only a small margin. As a result its superlative acts may make it to my list of “Best Performances in Hindi Films”, the film itself would not find any place in the section of “Movies To See Before You Die”.
Yet, there is one message which I always take back home after watching movies made on such differently abled characters………and that’s giving “A BIG THANKS” to the Almighty above, for blessing us with a sound mind existing in a sound complete body. So do watch it and remember to give your own thanks to the One Above as the end credits start rolling.
Ratings : 3.5 / 5 (with 0.5 more only for Priyanka Chopra)

Tags : BARFI Movie Review by Bobby Sing, BArfi Review By Bobby Sing, A Priyanka's masterpiece, A Ranbir's triumph, Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bollywood Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bollywood Movies Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bobby Sing Bollywood Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Ta
14 Sep 2012 / Comments ( 12 )
Vishnu UK

Hey Bobby
 I did not watch the film .. when I watched the promo scenes of Ranbir and Priyanka I was reminded of OASIS (2002) which is also about two differently abled individuals.

Bobby Sing

Thanks a lot Vishnu UK for this immesely valuable information....and I would soon see this movie and get back to you here....as It sounds real exciting.

Shandilya Dixit

I follow all your reviews, but can\'t agree with this one.. Loved the movie, loved Ranbeer, Priyanka, the new comer, everyone.. Appreciate your different opinion, but you will not find many takers of this article..

Also, why have you started this new trend of giving 0.5 extra for a particular character in the movie? liked it initially, but seems like it has become a habit for you to give less rating to the overall movie and then mention 0.5 extra for one individual!!

Bobby Sing

Hi Shandilya Dixit,
First of all thanks for believing in my reviews and regarding Difference of opinion this time for BARFI, I would like to take it as healthy sign of growth for both the sides.
Actually Difference of Opinion needs to be there sometimes as they serve like the essential salt in the dishes....and .without them any delicious looking dish tastes nothing.
I personally dont see any challenge or fun if we keep on agreeing all the time with each new review.........For me that will become utterly boring........So its good that you disagree this time as that will keep the interest alive....

About the trend of mentioning the extra ratings, I dont do it often but recently some friends requested to divide my ratings for various elements or departments of a film. Now since I am not in favour of doing that so to satify them I sometimes mention why I have given a little extra ratings to a film due to something special. But frankly I myself try to avoid it mostly.

Truly speaking, I very well knew that this review of BARFI will not go well with many readers as the film is delibrately designed that way to please the audience. But the other truth remains that its not too good in totality and has got its major flaws too.
Now supporting my comment here I would like to inform the ratings given by 3 reputed Reviews who do have some authenticity in their reviews apart from many other biased ones. And none of them have given BARFI even a 4 star rating. They are:

Rajeev Masand = 3 Stars
Anupama Chopra = 3 Stars
Raja Sen = 3.5 Stars

So, that makes it pretty clear that not me alone but these 3 people also have the same views on BARFI.

(Note : However as informed by a new friend, it seems there is something more there to write about the inspiration factor in the film which I would write about soon.)

Neelabh Srivastav

I completely agree with your review. The film has nothing extra-ordinary in screenplay or direction. It was just few great performances that keeps you in the theater for 3 hours. Simply, when you walk out of the cinema hall, you are more likely to say that you enjoyed a good movie rather than a great movie.

As far as I remember, the movie as taken inspiration from The Notebook, Jagte Raho, and Chaplin\'s movies.

A person who has got back his life from Cancer keeps showing smoking scenes quite often though with sub-titles. Even if we delete the smoking scenes, it would hardly have any effect on the movie. So, I would have loved to see this movie without any smoking scene.

In my opinion, the movie could have been made better, had it introduced a positive angle of struggle to find way of life in a fast growing metro Kolkata. Or how, they cope up to the challenge coming from a small town to big cities. This might have been shown enormous times but with fun loving attitude, how they could have made it easier would have been a good sequence to add upon.

Also, I could not understand that a guy shown so innocent looted a bank. It clearly lacks in character writing. In fact, that sequence had nothing to do much with the actual story.

The background score at times has been subtly repeated from the movie "Black".

Overall, its just an entertainment with no real value.

Bobby Sing

Hi Neelabh,
Thanks for aggreeing to my viewpoint as there are not many who would like to think about BARFI in this way.
But the overall rating of the movie by some insightful reputed reviewers (as mentioned in my earlier reply) does match my review here so Cheers for that!


Vikas Saitya

Dear Bobby

The movie can be easily listed in the section of "Movies To See Before You Die"

Because of its honesty & sweetness & I really touched by the same.

"To be precise, I found many commercial elements in Ranbir\' act" specially added to please the audience"

I totally disagree with above comment & I hope you will take this in right spirit.

Best Regards
Vikas Saitya

Bobby Sing

Hi Vikas,
I lovingly repect your opinion and I already answered that in my reply to Shandilya in one of the early comments on this post......So please read that once and then I would tell you some more things about the film itself.

1. For me the film is only worth its performances and not as a whole since all the "Honesty & Sweetness" in it as you mentioned is in fact all intentional and delibrate.....So the performances are effective but their overall impact is not as it has many specially added commercial elements in it which are quite visible in its both halves.

For instance, the way Barfi successfully manages to make a living, takes the girl, shift to the town, have a house without any solid explanation takes you away from the real life......But more specifically just remember the scene where there is a mirror on which the inspector jumps.....the dancing sequence when they get married......the silly bank looting sequence.......or the middle door sequence which slides to either way but never closes down...........these are nothing but some delibrately created props to add more colour, more spice and to make you laugh which majorly works due to the comedy factor associated with them.

2. Secondly, the review of BARFI gave me a new confidence as a Film Critic as at first I was thinking that may be its just me who is taking the film in that way......may be because I have seen many other brilliant films made on such specially abled characters.......So after posting the 3.5 ratings I perfectly knew that I am not going to find more takers of that...and probably all the other reviewers would be giving it 4 or more.

But when I saw the ratings of many other reputed reviewers (who have gained some authentic respect in this field like Rajeev Masand & Anupama Chopra) on the next day..........I was filled with a new confidence that Yes I was right..and not alone!

In short, BARFI is a good product no doubt with some fabulous performances.......but its also a product which has been made "On Design" in todays world of Selling and Marketing.

Vikas Saitya

Vikas Saitya

Hi Bobby
I think we go into minute detail then maximum number of movie will have many flaws
& apart from that we will not in the position the enjoy the product.

Bobby Sing

Hi Vikas,
As I feel some films effortlessly move a little step ahead of all the minor flaws in them but in case of BARFI I really could see something fishy as it clearly seemed to be as an delibrate effort from the director.
Where the actors coud reach out to the audience easily in BARFI, the film couldnt and this point got further cleared when I was informed about all its inspirational sources, which has a shockingly long list just posted at the site last nite.

So do chek it out and see what I was pointing out in the review.



I was introduced to your webpage by my pharmacist and I tell you there is no looking back ~ BRAVO !!!

Bobby Sing

Hi Sudesh,
With a warm & loving welcome to my site, thanks for your kind words and give my regards to your pharmist to for his thoughtful recommendation.
I hope you would like spending some of your precious time here at my sincere works and enjoy!
Do keep visiting and writing in.


Leave A Comment
E-mail (will not be published)
Website (Optional)
Enter shown code