Rather than the thoughtless degraded comedy that Bollywood comes up with nowadays, 'Barfi!' is a slapstick comic story of small town 'mute and deaf' boy who comes of age and his innocence with which he views his world and the people around with a (kind of Woody Allen genre but not so perfect) blend of mystery. Barfi will not only steal your heart away but keep you wanting more by which time its starts drawing out in the latter half.
The movie gets off as characters surrounding Barfi narrates his timeline unfolding in an otherwise sleepy, misty town in Darjeeling. Barfi's antics invigorates the town and its people even if its not entirely in favor of Barfi.
Ranbir Kapoor excels the dumb and deaf, almost cute, Barfi to perfection, and it would have hardly mattered to the audience that the whole movie was cut into pieces and shuffled together (director was trying to be innovative?Yikes!), as the audience goes into raptures of heartfelt laughter. Ranbir's youthful energy is infused into the story realm.
Without Barfi's playful antics instilling the town with a soul of its own, she would be overwhelmed by the greed its people would go to any lengths for. Adding to the coziness of the viewer, the town ages into the present world along with Barfi. The audience is witnessed to the hippy, playfully shy town represented in the 1970's 'Murphy' radio billboard adverts giving way to present day underwear advertisements in shamelessly larger view of arriving city tourists.
Almost equally well played, Priyanka Chopra leaves behind her flashy 'Fashion' wardrobe untouched this time as she plays a mentally retarded (by credits I realize she was playing an autistic kid), Jhilmil, who yearns for care and love after she's plucked from her institutional home to fulfill her Grandpa's last dying wish. After grandpa's death Jhilmil finds it hard to fit in her home and finds solace and unconditional love in an unassuming Barfi.
The moments between Priyanka and Ranbir will melt the hearts of lady folk but don't quite stick by the end of the movie.
Forget that you are reminded of Charlie Chaplin's antics (it should be taken as tribute rather.. to the King of Comedy) or you would do well not watch the copies from which Barfi is allegedly and ruthlessly taken from - Not seen for a long time in Bollywood, Barfi! will fill you with a heart-full of warmth and happiness and leave you smiling all the way home.
Go watch 'Barfi!'...Be Barfi for a while.