Why Barfi! wont win an Oscar (Spoiler Alert)

Barfi is fresh for Bollywood. It is a great celebration of Life and at no point does it linger on the disabilities of the key characters. There is lightness about the movie, and the slapstick comedy enhances the experience, all credit to Ranbir’s charm. The premise of the movie is a bit forced, but Anurag Basu somehow infuses credibility into the most unlikeliest of Love triangles, and makes it work. The slightly poor script is held together by wonderful acting by Ranbir Kapoor. He clearly is one of the very few authentic acting talents in Bollywood, and anything this guy touches turns to gold. Anurag Basu’s mastercraft is visible throughout the movie with many moving touches. The whole backdrop of Darjeeling gives it a fresh feel and has been used really well. And the music is nice, and helps build the mood of the movie.

But will it get the Oscars (It is India’s official entry to Oscars)? I dont think so. It misses on a number of accounts, but the fatal flaw is that it is too long. Anurag Basu just did not have the heart to cut up this labour of love, and has left too much into the movie that distracts from building the story. The movie goes round in circles, the motives of characters are all suspect (and not in a good way). There are some nice moments, but the story starts lingering around too many of them, without adding anything new to the story. Props get overused – too many train scene, too many shots of howrah bridge, too many paper birds, too many kidnappings of the same person. And the use of that band in the background – fresh for Bollywood, but this is a trick lifted from somewhere. Flashback is poorly used and does nothing to enhance the impact of the story. At some point you know how the movie will end, and the film does not disappoint.

Other than Ranbir, all others actors are fairly clueless about what is going on – except for maybe the Saurabh Shula (The inspector). Priyanka Chopra (Jhilmil Chatterjee) has over interpreted an autistic person (and what is with that false fake looking gums?) and is uncomfortable in the role. Ileana D’Cruz (Shruti Sengupta) brings no special touch to the movie. The makeup is amateurish… and I think does serious damage to the credibility of the entire movie.

With a 30 min cut,  most flaws would have disappeared. Flashback should not have been used atall. That marriage song right at the end could have been used in the main story itself somewhere and replaced some of the other weaker segments, it is powerfully done but comes too late in the movie and is a wasted opportunity to build a stronger connect with the audience.

Overall, I would rate it at 7/10 and would recommend you do watch it, but I am not betting on it winning the Oscars…

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  1. Agastya Kapoor says:

    3 musicians inspired from animation film Rango!

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