Goofy Barfi (Ranbir Kapoor) is a deaf-mute lovable Indian lad who falls for Shruti (Ileana D'cruz) in 1970s Darjeeling. She’s smitten too, but marries a ‘normal’ guy. Then a childhood female friend Jhilmil (Priyanka Chopra), who’s autistic, re-enters Barfi’s life and from this point the destinies of this diverse trio are entwined.
There is much to admire in this attempt to push the Bollywood envelope. It’s rare for mainstream Hindi cinema to feature such sensitively drawn characters. And the A-list leads rise to the challenge with solid performances. It’s overlong with a tendency towards pretentiousness, but ‘Barfi!’ remains essentially very moving. Devoid of melodrama and largely dialogue-free, it speaks volumes about unconditional love. Recommended.