कभी न रुकता रे..
कभी न थमता रे..
ग़म जो दिखा उसे खुशिओं की ठोकर मरे..
When I first watched the film, it was 'The Notebook' (I strongly believe that you ain't romantic if you have not watched it) and few Chaplin inspired scenes which I had instantly jumped upon. However even less than a minute from the scenes, I had moved on to be again immersed in the beautiful film. As the scenario stands today, because of modern mass media everyone is exposed to the numerous scenes in the film that are unoriginal and a little search on youtube is enough for more truth. Plethora of debates have been conducted on the worth of the heaps of praises that the film received on its release, especially after its selection as the official entry from India for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards next year. The angst voices are stronger by those whose films lost out in the selection race. Sour-grapes or genuine objections, it is a matter of another debate - one that must be strictly done by those who have watched the entire 19 films sent to selection committee for consideration.
There is also an INR 100,000 fee for submission to the selection panel set up by Film Federation of India, a topic of another debate by many news mongers. Some say it badly restricts small and independent film-makers which is really true as India with its bevy of film cultures in almost all major languages produces some great gems that goes unseen because of the dictats of promotion and marketing budgets. However, the monetary standing of such films can not be ignored as the real challenge begins after the selection. The huge costs in the promotion, distribution and exhibition for audiences, critics and academy's selection panel in the required multi-global pockets can be just estimated by the fact that while at present crossing a INR 100 crores earning is being considered a stamp of Blockbuster Status in India, this amount is way less than the stand-alone production costs of major International films and many bigs stars and even directors charge a fee more than this amount, which is equal to a little above $19 million. So its completely futile to talk about selection of small films, unless the Government of India lets loose its purse strings of the taxed money for an Academy nod.
The hugely multi-billion dollar modern-day capitalised entertainment industry is still considered as a thing of 'time-pass' by government machineries at various levels to get them to promote it as a medium of global exim trade. The various film related association still as "Chai, Biscuit aur Gupshup and some family photo-ops and free movie passes for premiere whenever big names come knocking.". The government machinery is not be solely blamed, also. We never see any influence building exercise by the movie-moguls using their big political contacts, the way the top industrialists across the country lobby the opposition to agree to passage of a favoured-bill by the ruling government at both centre and state levels. Even the hungry crow had to put in efforts to drink openly available water in the clay pot by putting stone pebbles to raise the water level.
With the sweet concoction of BARFI being enjoyed by some and turning too sweet success for others to digest, the film has nevertheless crossed all expectations. It released in a meagre 800 screens worldwide when big productions in the country are crossing 3000 screens mark on release date; has netted more than INR 100 crores it is worldwide business and is running almost housefull even in its fourth week of release. In spite of all the inspired scenes in the film, what can just not be ignored is that the film has a story which is original and heartwarmingly rendered with bravura performance by all its actors in rarely seen dedication in the presentation of the characters in depth. Even the inspired/copied/lifted (whatever one might prefer to call them) scenes are so amazingly gelled in the screenplay and essayed wonderfully that they never seem to irritate, even for a staunch critic like me who watched the film this time after having seen the all original scenes in the month passed since its release.
There is a genuine honesty that seems to have gone in the making of the film by one and all involved with it. The music soundtrack of the film is one of the best in long long time with lyrics that really spells poetry and great imagination. Even the background score (and not the soundtrack) for the movie, composed by Pritam, which is borrowed heavily from the highly acclaimed soundtrack of the French film Amélie, carries the movie forward so fluidly that not once does the audience feel the lack of dialogues for many long durations. In fact, had the film not told in a narrative format by its characters, the film would have been almost dialogue-less with its deaf-and-dumb title character and an autistic female-lead character.
Regardless of assessing the chances of the film's selection for a a nod in academy nomination which is more dependant on the promotion and marketing of the film than its merits of a 100 percent original film (as seen in the shrewd business acumen of Harvey Weinstein in recent years over better films by his apparent nemesis Scott Rudin), at least we can learn to enjoy the little things that we work for and no brood over the big benefits we are too lazy to act towards. And accept that UTV's national clout along with its partner Disney's international clout is probably the best for the academy market.
This season and every season of life and movie awards... Don't worry, Be Barfi! :)