Sunday, September 23, 2012


Just heard. Anurag Basu’s Barfi!, which features the current Indian heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor as a deaf-mute boy in love, has been nominated as India’s entry to the Oscars. It’s a no-brainer anyway. The film is not going to make to the shotlist, of course not. ‘Lagaan’ was the last film to do so, and you cannot count ‘Water’; that was Canada’s entry. That said, Barfi! is good choice. For one thing, there’s a handful of dialogue, so foreign delegates wouldn’t have to worry about missing the film in subtitles. And, it’s a film about a disabled person, something that the Oscars love (everything from ‘My Left Foot’ to ‘Forrest Gump’...), and the film is a tribute to the great Charlie Chaplin, although I believe, the film was more of a tribute to the lead actor’s own grandfather, Raj Kapoor. And, the film is as colourful as Bollywood can make, including a traditional Bengali wedding sequence, and it’s not as melodramatic as feared by the western audience. So, why not!

The shortlisted films comprised Milan Luthria’s The Dirty Picture, Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Paan Singh Tomar, Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahaani, Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs Of Wasseypur Parts I and II, Rajan Khosa’s Gattu, Gurvinder Singh’s Anhey Ghore Da Daan, Umesh Kulkarni’s Deool and Madhur Bhandarkar’s Heroine, among others.

Barfi! beat 19 other films to represent India at the Oscars.
More Here.

And, here's one criticism:
The film appears much too crafted and self-consciously gorgeous, and feels eminently facile and plastic. It isn’t just the lifting of two memorable scenes from The Notebook. The sequence involving a statue made me revisit my Citylights DVD. What’s more, the emotions seem designed and dressed up in an alien coating. Barfi! tries way too hard to please. It’s like being wooed by a man who is extremely charming yet makes you wary of his intentions. He attracts, but does not inspire faith or trust. I was enchanted in parts, but largely exasperated.
More here.

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