Tuesday, 10 January 2017

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Barfi! is a 2012 Indian comedy drama film co-produced, written and directed by Anurag Basu. Set in the 1970s, the film depicts the story of Murphy "Barfi" Johnson (a mute and deaf Nepali boy from Darjeeling) and his relationships with two women, Shruti and Jhilmil (who is autistic). The film stars Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, and Ileana D'Cruz in the lead roles, with Saurabh Shukla, Ashish Vidyarthi, Jisshu Sengupta and Roopa Ganguly in supporting roles.

Made on a budget of approximately ₹30 crore (US$4.5 million), Barfi! opened worldwide on 14 September 2012. The film was a box office success, becoming one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films of 2012 in India and overseas. The film went on to gross ₹1.75 billion (US$26 million) worldwide.

The film was selected as India's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film nomination for the 85th Academy Awards. Barfi won several awards and nominations at various award ceremonies across India. At the 58th Filmfare Awards, the film received thirteen nominations including Best Actress for Chopra and won seven (more than any other film) including Best Film, Best Actor for Kapoor and Best Music Director for Pritam

Murphy "Barfi" Johnson (Ranbir Kapoor) is an optimistic, street-wise, charming young man who was born deaf-mute to a Nepali couple in Darjeeling. His mother died when he was a baby and his father raised him alone, while working as a chauffeur. Barfi is known as a troublemaker – he cuts lampposts, plays practical jokes on innocent people, and is chased by Sudhanshu Dutta (Saurabh Shukla), a local police officer. Barfi meets Shruti Ghosh (Ileana D'Cruz), who has just arrived in Darjeeling; she is engaged to Ranjit Sengupta (Jisshu Sengupta), and is due to get married in three months, and Barfi is immediately smitten with Shruti. She also falls in love with Barfi but her mother dissuades her from pursuing him because he could not take care of her with his disabilities and lack of money. Shruti takes her mother's advice, gets married, and moves to Kolkata, breaking all contact with Barfi.

Meanwhile, Barfi's father falls ill and Barfi must somehow raise the money for his treatment. After an unsuccessful attempt to rob a local bank, he tries to kidnap Jhilmil Chatterjee (Priyanka Chopra) – Barfi's autistic childhood friend and wealthy heiress of her grandfather's fortune – for a ransom. Upon arriving, Barfi finds she has already been kidnapped. He sees her in a van, sneaks inside and drives Jhilmil away from the ransom delivery. He hides her in his apartment with the police in pursuit. Barfi collects the ransom but finds that his father has died just as he makes the payment. Dejected, Barfi tries to leave Jhilmil at the village of her caretaker, but she refuses to leave him and they soon move to Kolkata, where Barfi assumes responsibility for Jhilmil and takes care of her.

Six years later, Barfi and Shruti meet by chance. Shruti is unhappy with her marriage and she and Barfi rekindle their friendship, much to the chagrin of the lovestruck Jhilmil, who then goes missing. Shruti files a missing person report for Jhilmil. The Darjeeling police learn about the report, resume their pursuit of Barfi and arrest him. As he is being interrogated, another ransom demand for Jhilmil is made and she is apparently killed in the process of the exchange, though her body is never found. In order to conclude the case, the police try to frame Barfi for Jhilmil's murder. Policeman Sudhanshu Dutta, who grew fond of Barfi after investigating him for his nuisances, asks Shruti to take him away, offering him a second chance at life. She agrees and hopes that now Jhilmil is gone, she can finally be with Barfi.

Barfi is deeply affected by Jhilmil's loss and finds living with Shruti unfulfilling. He finds the location of Jhilmil's childhood home and takes Shruti to look for her. They find that Jhilmil is still alive, and that both kidnappings were fabricated by her father so he could embezzle money from Jhilmil's trust fund. In the second attempt, second time, they faked her death so that she could return to her special-care home, away from her alcoholic mother. Barfi has a happy reunion with Jhilmil and the two are married, while Shruti spends the rest of her days alone, regretting the loss of her chance to be with Barfi.

Several years later, Barfi is shown to be gravely ill in a hospital and is close to death. Jhilmil arrives and lies with Barfi in his hospital bed as Shruti narrates that the two died peacefully together, not wanting to leave each other behind in life or death. The film closes showing the happy days of Barfi and Jhilmil as credits roll.

Ranbir Kapoor as Murphy "Barfi" Johnson
Priyanka Chopra as Jhilmil Chatterjee
Ileana D'Cruz as Shruti Ghosh Sengupta
Saurabh Shukla as Assistant Sub-Inspector Sudhanshu Dutta
Akash Khurana as Jung Bahadur, Barfi's father
Ashish Vidyarthi as Mr. Chatterjee
Roopa Ganguly as Shruti's mother
Haradhan Bandopadhyay as Dadu
Uday Tikekar as Shruti's father
Arun Bali as Jhilmil's grandfather
Bholaraj Sapkota as Barfi's friend.
Jisshu Sengupta in a special appearance as Ranjit Sengupta
Sumona Chakravarti as Shruti's friend

I tried to make the story linear. But it wasn't working See, Barfi is a very simple story. If I had kept the narrative linear then I'd have lost my audience. I think if I had removed the non-linear narrative you wouldn't have enjoyed the film. I know Indian viewers gets disturbed by non-linear narrations. I wrote Barfi straight. But it was boring that way.

 — Anurag Basu, on writing the narrative[4]
During the production of his previous directorial venture Kites (2010), the director Anurag Basu wrote a two-page short story which was later developed to the script of Barfi!.[5] The film script that Basu wrote alternated between two time periods, and he retained the nonlinear narrative structure. He said that the script required a 30-year time span for the characters' love to grow and thus set the backdrop of the film in the 1970s.[6]

In June 2010, Anurag Basu confirmed that his film would feature three lead roles, a deaf and mute man, a mentally challenged girl, and a narrator.[7] With former titles like Khamoshi or Silence, media reports said the story was grim or dark. However, Basu stated that on the contrary, the film was happy.[8] According to Basu, he paid homage to Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin by adding scenes inspired by the era of silent cinema and using physical comedy in the film, involving silent portions.[9]


Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra played the lead roles in the movie.
Ranbir Kapoor was the first choice of director Anurag Basu and Katrina Kaif was the first choice for the role of the narrator. In March 2010, The Times of India reported that Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif were signed to play lead roles in the film, then titled Khamoshi and later Silence, which Basu confirmed.[10] Basu wanted to cast a new girl from Kolkata for the autistic character.[11] Basu's wife, Tani suggested Chopra's name for the role. However, Basu feared that audience would see "the Priyanka Chopra" and not the character due to Chopra's stardom.[11] Basu explained "I had the fear that I would see Priyanka Chopra in the character and Jhilmil wouldn’t work. This has happened in many films where known faces have harmed the character."[11] Priyanka Chopra was cast to play the part but, the development was not announced as Basu wanted to workshop first and see how it goes. After three days of workshop, Basu was convinced that Chopra could play the autistic part and reflected that he was glad that he chose Chopra for the role.[11][12] Later, Basu revealed that he did not approach any actress other than Chopra for the autistic part.[6] After Chopra was cast in the film, Kaif left the project for unknown reasons.[13] Media reported that she may have opted out of the film because Chopra had been given a stronger role.[14] Later, media reported that Asin was approached to play the role of the narrator, replacing Kaif.[15] However, Asin was never signed to the project. Media reported that no other actress wanted to sign for the film because according to them, the autistic part was stronger. In July 2010, Mumbai Mirror reported that Chopra was ready to play the role of narrator and leave the autistic role, so that another actress could be cast in the film; Chopra did not want the film to stall.[16] Basu confirmed this development and said, "It’s true we’ve been unable to cast the other part." After facing several casting problems, Basu chose to cast a completely new fresh face to play the second female role.[17] In early December 2010, Ileana D'Cruz from south Indian films, was finalised for the second female lead, featuring as narrator and Kapoor's first love interest in the film.[18]

Ranbir Kapoor played the role of a deaf and mute man in the film. According to Kapoor, he took inspiration from screen legends such as the Academy Award winning actor, Roberto Benigni, Charlie Chaplin and his grandfather Raj Kapoor.[19] Due to the protagonist's physical disability, Basu did not want to use any sign-language but, some behavioral patterns in the film.[20] Kapoor described his character as a regular, happy-go-lucky and good hearted guy.[21]

Priyanka Chopra played the role of Jhilmil. Basu described Chopra's role as the "toughest" in the film.[11] In order to prepare for the role, Chopra visited several mental institutions and spent time with autistic people. She said she had to research a little for the role because in India awareness about autism is very low.[22] Chopra told that she had to let go of every inhibition probably that she had as a Hindi film heroine and play Jhilmil without thinking of it. She explained that she needed two moments to become Jhilmil because she didn't identify with her character due to difference between her thought and behavior.[23]

D'cruz, who portrayed the narrator and first love interest of the protagonist said "Shruti, is such a sensitive role to play as she goes to different phases in the film."[24] According to Basu, after Kapoor, Chopra and D'cruz's character Saurabh Shukla's character as Inspector Dutta was the most important. Basu described the role as "amazing" character, who makes others cry when he laughs.[25]


Principal photography commenced in March 2011.[26][27] Barfi! was shot between June 2011 and February 2012, mostly in Darjeeling.[28] In March 2011, Basu visited Kolkata to finalize the locations within the city. Filming in Mumbai began on 20 March 2011 and continued until May 2011.[29] In June 2011, the cast and crew shot in Darjeeling.[30] In December 2011, some scenes were filmed on the outskirts of Coimbatore, especially Pollachi and Ooty.[31] The scenes in which Kapoor's character is chased by policemen over the roof tops were shot in Kolkata at the end of January 2012.[32] Shooting was completed by April 2012, except for some scenes featuring Chopra. The producers postponed the release from 13 July to 31 August 2012 as the September 2011 shooting schedule was cancelled and was waiting to be shot.[8][33] However, Basu began working on Ileana's dubbing portions by end of April 2012, because D'Cruz was unfamiliar with the Hindi language and wanted to learn it whilst filming

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