As the trend has been in Bollywood of late, box office earnings and critical appreciation just don’t go hand in hand. But director Anurag Basu’s Barfi! managed to achieve that, thanks, in no small measure, to the acting prowess of Ranbir Kapoor. His performance as the deaf-and-mute title character has been unanimously lauded.
Now, there’s another feather in the cap. Barfi! has been selected as India’s official entry to the Academy Awards 2013. And excited as he is, Ranbir still plays the modest guy, thanking his director and praising him for this achievement. “I think the entire credit goes to Anurag Basu for making such a superb film, and to the producers for supporting his vision. Priyanka (Chopra) and Ileana (D’Cruz) are fantastic and I’m thankful to dada (Anurag) for thinking of such a role for me,” he says. “On Saturday evening, as soon as the news was out, Sid (UTV boss Siddharth Roy Kapoor) was trying to reach me, but I missed his call. It was dad who shared the big news with me,” adds Ranbir.
Ask him if he anticipated this degree of acclaim while shooting for the film and he says that while he didn’t think of the Oscars, he had a feeling that the audience would love it: “We knew that we were making a good film. But the kind of love Barfi! has already got is amazing,” he says. Some would say that this puts Ranbir in a whole new league. We wonder if there’s any pressure now to pick a certain kind of films. “When I start a film, I never think of how much it will earn. I only want to do films that will entertain people,” Ranbir says. Produced by UTV Motion Pictures, Barfi! is an uncommon love story, set in 1970s Bengal, of a deaf-and-mute guy and an autistic girl (played by Priyanka Chopra).
‘This was the Toughest character of my life’ “This is such a amazing news. This film was a labour of love for all of us, and to see it receive such amazing success is so gratifying. This has been the toughest character of my life. Seeing everyone love Jhilmil is like a dream come true. I am really thrilled to be part of the wonderful team that made this happen.” — Priyanka Chopra, actor