Sputnik’s Barfi Movie Review

Director: Anurag Basu

Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Ileana, Saurabh Shukla, Rupa Ganguly

The movie is basically set in the 70s but looks like it is set in the 40s. Cinematography is good. Art Direction is good. Background music – the one already heard in the trailer which is inspired from Amelie plays almost constantly throughout the movie. Music by Pritam is good specially the songs Main Kya Karoon, Kyon and Phir Le Aya Dil.

The scene of the kid not being able to hear the “jhunjuna” is good. The train scene where Ileana is left holding the ticket is very good. The best scene of the movie is the scene outside Ileana’s home where Ranbir gets angry at her. Ranbir is brilliant in that one scene.

Ranbir is good in a couple of other scenes but the rest of the movie he just overacts. There are a few scenes where he pinches male bottoms including his father’s. He is constantly making faces trying to do a Chaplin – he even has a silly moustache ala Chaplin. He also copies his dad Rishi Kapoor in a scene. Its like watching Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani with Ranbir’s voice muted.

Movie has a lot of stupid slapstick scenes. The kidnap, robbery, murder and the cop chasing angle is so stupid and should not have never been in the movie. Priyanka’s role is that of a complete retard and as Robert Downey Jr famously said in Tropic Thunder “Never go Full Retard”.

Ileana is gorgeous and acts very well with her expressive eyes at least in the younger portions.

The mother telling the daughter about her lover is a straight ripoff from The Notebook. Even the final scene is a ripoff from The Notebook. Another scene of Barfi alseep and not listening to her father’s scream is inspired/copied from a similar scene from Koshish. Its basically a reversal of the Koshish scene in that the deaf and mute parents cannot hear the kid’s cries.

Anurag Basu’s direction is good in some scenes but is mostly indulgent. The non linear track is totally unnecessary and all the multiple flashbacks and multiple people talking about Barfi is annoying. There is too much of slapstick. The Artist was a silent movie about a silent movie star but here it just doesn’t gel. Yes its different from regular Bollywood movies but that itself does not make it good. The movie is very lengthy and drags a lot in the second half and becomes exhausting.

  1. Baba Ji 11 years ago

    Thanks for the review sputnik. I think most of us had this doubt of ranbir repeating his apkgk act here in the mute.Seems it was true.

    The regular basu indulgence is there as expected.One suggestion – give your reviews a better title.By reading the headline,i coulnt tell its your ( a member ) review.

  2. hithere 11 years ago

    Looks like you went to review Pathar Panchali 🙂

    You can not possibly review a movie like Pushpak as drama. It operates in different level. The movie is IMO the best Hindi movie this year. Kahaani was good but it presentation was linear. This operates with multiple thread and screenplay was cogent that it doesn’t turn into a Joker (you could make it linear but then there is nothing interesting in the movie). Yes the movie draws inspiration from lot of west movies but this is what I want in Hindi cinema. Last year it was Udaan.

    • Author
      sputnik 11 years ago

      I loved Pushpak – this is nowhere in the same league as Pushpak or Koshish. Its been a while since I saw Pushpak but I don’t think it had this much slapstick and Kamal definitely did not act like Charlie Chaplin in it.

      Disagree that this is the best Hindi movie this year. Kahaani to me is still the best movie of the year followed by Agneepath. Irfan is still the best actor for me in PST (critics award) closely followed by Hrithik in Agneepath (popular award). Vidya is still the best actress for Kahaani. Did not like the movie or Vidya in The Dirty Picture last year.

      The non linear part did not work at all here – there is even a flashback within a flashback. I think linear storytelling would have worked much better for this movie. Visual story telling part is good but I think those scenes are copied from so many movies. I think if there was some program/software where you could search by scene most of the movie scenes will end up from some other movie.

      The people sitting and praising the great Barfi and narrating the story is copied from a French movie and has already been done in movies like Chalte Chalte and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. The cop who chases him throughout the movie coming to see him when he is sick and the whole old part was just not needed in the movie. The whole robbery/kidnap/murder angle is also so unnecessary. Ileana teaching the mute and deaf kids (implying that she dedicated her life to that) – this movie has so many cliches.

      The Artist was a silent movie and I loved it. This is almost similar in length to that but I got bored and it became so exhausting. I had to literally force myself to watch the last 30 minutes.

      Have to add this. Did not like Amelie either. Was too sugary for me.

  3. Author
    sputnik 11 years ago

    Here is the Koshish scene from which the scene of Barfi asleep and not listening to his father’s screams is inspired from. I had thought of posting this as Scene of the Week but then decided to go with the other scene.

  4. Baba Ji 11 years ago

    sputnik – if you and others remember,when the first promo of barfi came,i had said it looks like an slb film minus the sadness/tragedy of bhansali signature.seems barfi is exactly that.

    • Author
      sputnik 11 years ago

      I don’t know if you said about SLB movie somewhere else but you said this on TQ when the trailer released.

      “If we are to forget his deaf-n-dumb background for a while,ranbirs charaterisation and more or less the movie seems similar to what we saw in say a APKGK or a AA.What is the film about btw?”

      I had said this –

      “Interesting Trailer. Like the background music and the visuals. Ranbir seems to be acting very good at places and at some places his acting reminds me of Saawariya. Priyanka’s look is good and seems to be acting well. Ileana is looking very pretty and seems to be acting well too. Definitely looks interesting.”

      When the song came out I said

      “Ranbir is supposed to be a mute guy but why is he doing buffonery? Looks like he is playing a mute version of his APKGK character. Ileana looks good while smiling at 21 seconds.”

  5. Reddemon 11 years ago

    Sputnik looks like you went to review Barfi and not to enjoy it.
    I liked the movie more than kahani(kahani is overrated imo).
    Ranbir was good priyanka was at her best. Illena has the spark to go ahead

    • syed imran 11 years ago

      I agree with you bro…though kahani was a good movie, but after seeing barfi it becomes the second best… it is one of the finest movies of the decade and definitely will win a couple of awards nxt year including best actor for ranbir and actress for priyanka… and as u said sputnik jst went to theatre to see only the negative points of the movie and to publish it… seems he doesnt like ranbir and must be a fan of some stupid khans and crap kumars…..

  6. fearlesssoul 11 years ago

    Sputnik – I don’t know how come you didn’t like this movie… Whatever ripoff’s you mentioned above especially the Notebook one, it suddenly comes to your mind but then suddenly you are back in the movie enjoying its beauty… Just last 10 mins from when the murder takes place and is resolved was the weakest point in the film which i didn’t like it… It had so many small moments that one can enjoy in daily life… This is by far the best film i have seen this year… Anurag Basu’s indulgence is easily overlooked with stunning visuals, refreshing music and background score, sweet and beautiful chemistry between illeana as well as priyanka, the slapstick comedy which brings lot of lol’s, the innocence of the character brings smile on your face and last but not the least the emotions of ranbir be it in anger or passionate forehead touch of priyanka and ranbir was just emotional.

    IMO it was the best performance of all three of them…

    • Author
      sputnik 11 years ago


      I am making a post with all the original scenes 😉

      See if there was a linear screenplay without the whole cop, kidnapping, robbery, murder angle it would have not only been shorter but good too. The movie is basically a triangular love story but Anurag added unnecessary stuff. When your movie has some beautiful tender movements and simple scenes why would you complicate the movie with all those multiple narrators and back and forth.

      Ranbir was very good in some scenes but problem is instead of playing a mute and deaf guy he was playing Charlie Chaplin/Raj Kapoor in most of the movie. Slapstick scenes just did not work for me. I think they wanted to make a silent movie like The Artist or Pushpak but did not have the guts so they added dialogues. Thing is its neither here nor there.

      • Ritz 11 years ago

        “Ranbir was very good in some scenes but problem is instead of playing a mute and deaf guy he was playing Charlie Chaplin/Raj Kapoor in most of the movie.”

        Havent seen the movie and dont intend to…but playing Charlie Chaplin is not the problem – the problem I see in mimicking only his body language/slapstick part and not getting heart of “Being Chaplin”.

        Many like Dada Kondke to Raj Kapoor to Kamal have been majorly inspired by Chaplin but none other than Kamal got the Chaplin right in movies. He didnt make a caricature of him like say Raj Kapoor or Ranbir or a Sridevi.

        Be it his scene in Sagar when he says he was joking about his feelings about Dimple; or Pushpak, or Appu Raja etc..etc..

  7. I.One 11 years ago

    Saw Barfi on Friday itself. Was strictly an average movie, not extraordinary as it is made out to be. The biggest disappointment is the 2nd half. My colleagues were constantly looking at their watch in 2nd half and were exclamating when the movie gonna finish. 1st half was good. Performances were good too. Liked the visuals and RKs innocence, but looked OTT at some occasions.

    Basically 1st half is Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani and 2nd half being Guzaarish (which I hate).

    Overall 2.5 stars out of 5 for me.

    • Author
      sputnik 11 years ago

      People are definitely overrating the movie – one day later they were already calling it a masterpiece.

  8. joshilay 11 years ago

    The problem is that all others who called it a great movie didnt imagine that it was all copied direct from other English movies. At best I thought it would be inspired only.

    Disappointed big time.

  9. aryan 11 years ago

    Brilliant Review 95% of the scenes are copied/Inspired which Sputnik already proved Ranbir acting in few scene are good, lleana, Priyanka has done decent acting, Photography is highlight of the movie, Music is outstanding.

  10. jargan 11 years ago

    1 time movie,,, this time also ranbir will get all the awards because last year with rockstar which was the horrible movie he got all the awards,,, he will be next srk

  11. Coolguy201197 10 years ago

    i sputnik, I have recently joined this forum. This movie Barfi is inspired from almost all phases of hollywood that is from silent films to recent talkie ones. i feel some part of the movie is copied from Johnny Depp’s Benny and Joon where Johnny depp helps a mentally unstable girl. He acts like Charlie Chaplin and Buster keaton to amuse the girl . I guess that is where Anurag Basu got the premise of the ranbir-priyanka relationship.

    I wanted to comment on this movie being sent to the oscars. Please correct me if there is another link where I can comment

    We have seen movies like Jeans, Paheli, Eklavya go to the oscars. We make a mockery of our film industry and I can’t believe that a movie is sent is sent to Oscars when people here in india can guess from the promos that it is inspired from silent era films. For Oscars, ideas have to be original. I am sure there are lots of other moves better than Barfi.

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