In July this year, Friday the 13th, to be precise, Ranbir Kapoor will return to the theatre. This time the Rockstar, who wowed us with Sadda Haq… will be seen playing a deaf-mute with co-star Priyanka Chopra, who plays Jhilmil, an autistic girl. The film will also mark the debut of South star Ileana D’Cruz in a parallel role.
The pre-conceived notion is that Barfi!, earlier titled Silence, is heavy on melodrama. But Ranbir is quick to dispel the misconception. Barfi!, is a fun, family film, a romantic thriller,” asserts the actor. “It’s about two dysfunctional people who bond together in the nicest of relationships, one that is sweet, touching and heart-warming.”
While Ranbir admits that he had to resort to a lot of sign language in the film given that his character, fondly called Barfi!, doesn’t have a voice, he clarifies that it won’t be difficult to interpret his lingo. “It’s more like a game of dumb charades that we play at picnics and parties. Anurag (director Anurag Basu) was very clear that he didn’t want the sign language to get too technical. It’s more about acting out and expressing through my face and hand gestures, that’s it.”
Shikha Kapur, senior vice president, marketing, UTV, endorses the fact that Barfi! is a “happy” film, primarily targeting the youth. With this in mind UTV, which produced the film is trying to enlist the support of the youth. “Last week, at Cine Pact, a city college fest, we interacted with an eclectic group of youngsters from India’s top 20 business schools who came up with some interesting ideas on how we could promote an out-of-the-box film like this,” says Shikha.
The student crowd was informed that even though Ranbir is a deaf-mute he’s not a Lachaar Bechara (object of pity) but a Chalu Chaplin. With this in mind, they were asked to come up with a marketing pitch for Barfi!,. “We’ve picked the 10 best and plan to involve them while brainstorming on promotional activities.”