Barfi (2012) – A Sonnet in Silence

by Puru


Sep 15, 2012

Barfi (2012) - A Sonnet in Silence 1

Can silence be a language more powerful than any spoken words? I got a chance to think about it when we went to watch Barfi. Words  are inadequate and immaterial (pun intended) to describe this film, but let me give it a try.

Barfi is named after the Murphy radio because his mother wanted him to be like the Murphy Munna. He cannot hear or speak but he can smile wide, and bring a smile to everyone around him. The world of Barfi is a perfect one; there is happiness, beauty in hearts and a tranquil chaos in the lap of the Himalayas. His life changes when he bumps into Shruti, an extremely pretty girl from the city who comes to live in Darjeeling. The love is instant even though Shruti is already engaged to be married. But Shruti has to leave, she decides in the favor of her Bhodrolok fiancée who, although is not as charming, can speak and hear and earns good money. A heartbroken Barfi then meets Jhilmil, a lonely autistic girl and a strange bond develops between them..


A pinch of innocence

This film is fresh as a dew drop on the first morning of spring. The delicateness with which the director has handled physical disabilities and autism is rare in the Hindi Film industry. There are moments which soak you with their surreal-ness. Ten minutes into the film and you know that you are witnessing the work of a master storyteller. The romance has the touch I have not seen since ‘1942 a love story’. It makes your heart ache for those bygone days- for the lost innocence in love and life. The first half is full of slapstick comedy which will make you roll in laughter but in the second half the Director makes the audience laugh and cry at will. The cinematography is amazing; each frame made with utmost care and love. Since Aradhana, Darjeeling has never looked so beautiful.  The whole film is a treat to the eyes and a feast to the heart. The overall pace is slow, but would you ever want to let those beautiful moments pass quickly?


A moment of tenderness ..

Coming to performances; Ranbir Kapoor, without dialogues, song and dance sequences and stunts, needs to be seen to be believed. He pays a glowing tribute to Charlie Chaplin in his own Chaplinisque ways; we even have a scene from the “City Lights” recreated with a flash of seemingly amused Chaplin. Raj Kapoor would have been a proud man if he had seen Barfi. Priyanka Chopra sheds her Diva looks and gives a power-packed performance. Her innocent vulnerability can melt stones. Ileana looks stunningly beautiful and is very convincing as the Bong bride.

Barfi is more than a film; it’s a sonnet – an ode to love and the form of art, that is Cinema. Stunning, heartwarming and beautiful!

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About the Author


Puru is an IT Project Manager from Pune, India and an avid blogger. He is passionate about travel, photography, cinema and books. He blogs on Shadows Galore, Art House Cinema, The Mutinous Indian and Antarnaad.

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  1. NS

    You got a good one here.

    • Puru

      Thank you 🙂

  2. Vaishali Jain

    That is exactly what I had expected from this movie. Thanks to your review, I’m all the more excited to watch Barfi.

    • Puru

      Thank you Vaishali, you will love every moment of it 🙂

  3. umashankar pandey

    Those are high words of appreciation! You seem have kept in mind the carefully planned frames of the movie. Although ‘slapstick’ comedies alarm me no end, I am looking forward to watch this one.

    • Puru

      When there are no dialogues to support comedy, it has to become slapstick. Thats what Chaplin did in his times and Barfi is very Chaplinisque, in a loving way. So you will not mind this genre of slapstick. Take your kids and parents to this film, all will love it. 🙂

  4. sunil deepak

    Beautifully written review of a beautiful film (I hope that I will get an opportunity to watch it soon!)

    • Puru

      Thanks Sunil. You will enjoy this movie with a pang of nostalgia 🙂

  5. Arti

    Seems like we have a wonderful heartfelt movie in our hands after a long time. I was in two minds if I should go for this one. But a positive word from you is sealing it for me. I am looking forward to catch Barfi soon.

    • Puru

      Yes Arti. Very rarely do I pitch in so hard for a movie. Even though I loved Gangs of Wasseypur, I did not recommend because it was not meant for all audience. But Barfi is of a totally different flavor. Watch it in the theatre, you will savour each moment of it 🙂

  6. Sudha Ganapathi

    The tweet sent after you watched the movie was very intriguing and this review reveals why. I like movies, but stay away from the much hyped ones. But this one I will watch 🙂

    • Puru

      I go to any Hindi film with zero expectations .. First first the Wasseypur wallas and now Barfi have made me rethink about my opinion of our directors in Mumbai 🙂

  7. Panchali

    That was a wonderful review, Puru. I watched a hindi movie after a long time this weekend and am completely floored…
    Telling a multi-layered, heavy life-account without a narrator is tricky, but Basu aesthetically crafted
    finesses…Loved it!

    • Puru

      Thanks Panchali .. I was surprised by this movie. Being Anurag Basu, I had expected a decent film .. but what he has delivered was unexpected.


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