An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Barfi: Ranbir Kapoor makes you want to fall in love again!

Ranbir and Priyanka: great performances!

Bollywood’s Kapoor family has provided some of the finest Cinematic talents to the Indian film industry.  In Prithviraj Kapoor, Raj Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor and even Rishi Kapoor – some of the finest actors seen on Indian screen.  Shammi Kapoor wasn’t a great actor but a charming personality that was unique in his own right.

Despite all that, or probably because of all that one has seen from the Kapoor family, I could have never prepared myself for someone as talented as Ranbir Kapoor.  His performance of Barfi, though unique in its own right, brought back memories of his Grand-dad Raj Kapoor from many of his movies, specifically “Teesri Kasam” – one of my favorite movies.

This is one movie and set of performances that all three – the newly introduced Ileana, Priyanka Chopra and Ranbir will look back with great pride.

Priyanka Chopra and Ranbir Kapoor’s performances were tough.  Easily amenable to overacting.  Yet, none of the two went overboard with theatrics.  And that is the hallmark of Ranbir Kapoor.  He looked convincing as a Sikh professional in Rocket Singh and he was convincing as a deaf and dumb rustic kid from Darjeeling in this one.

Although many scenes were easily reminiscent of those from Raj Kapoor movies – with Chaplin-esque humor – but they weren’t cheesy.  He seriously made you laugh!

Love Story

As far as love stories go – specifically from India – I personally rate Devdas as the finest.  This would rate a very close second.  It was subtle, powerful and profound.  It presented love at a level of intensity that you want to fall in love like that.  Something that Devdas has done for generations.

A person who is loving does not distinguish and when he loves he doesn’t love for his benefit.  He loves because he is taken over by the tender-ness and the vulnerability of the love of the other.  The vulnerable love of Jhilmil (Priyanka Chopra) is firm as a rock and intense as the blazing sun.  It is relentless and in total submission.

Shruti’s (Ileana D’Cruz) love thinks.  It weighs and compares options.  And in that distance of Love and Calculative decision, the beauty of love and its vulnerable finality is lost.  Forever.

There were some scenes where you just want to sit back and watch the beauty and profundity of it all unfolding in front of you.  With a smile and longing in your eyes.  One wanted to believe in love once again.

Not since Raj Kapoor’s Teesri Kasam have I watched a performance, where one wanted to believe in vulnerable love.

Music Score

There is a musical “sutradhar” in the entire movie.  The three – Accordion, Violin and Guitar player have been woven really well in the movie – with their music and presence.  They provide a mojo.. an underlying current in the movie that evokes romance.

In general, I do not have a high opinion of Pritam as a music director.  Somehow, I had assumed that the music was by my fellow schoolmate and another Bengali (like Pritam) Shantanu Moitra.  Pritam honestly surprised me with his old world charm and Bengali music combined as well.  It was a unique blend.

Songs have been sung well.  My favorite song was Phir le Aaya Dil.  It is a Ghazal actually sung by Arijit Singh.

The voices in the songs are also pretty fresh and very nice.

Takeaway

Bollywood movies these days are slick.  The houses and the characters are all foreign looking and there is very rarely a portrayal where the characters look normal, despite the dramatic license that Bollywood uses… and rightly so.  It is entrenched in our culture and has stood the test of time – not just in India but also has touched millions and billions the world over in non-Americanized cultures in Africa, Middle East and ex-Soviet countries.

The sets were done well but had a class around them.

It is important to speak a language with actions and almost ritualistic type of mannerisms that conform to a certain type of personality.  Use of very endearing set of behavior on part of Ranbir makes him so lovable.

This is one movie I would recommend everyone to watch.  At least once, if not more.  Its message can also come in handy, if you were to consider it multiple times.

Barfi Poster

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