He’s a blue-blooded star, and she, an outsider who charmed her way into our hearts, and together they are all set to create a magical love story that’s unseen in Bollywood.
Anurag Basu’s unconventional romance ‘Barfi!’ might not feature fancy cars, swift action, exotic locations or designer wardrobes, yet it appears to have its heart in the right place, or so vouch the stars Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra, who had jetted into Dubai days ahead of its release.
After shuffling interviews with numerous Dubai media houses, the ‘Barfi!’ stars appear evidently fatigued, and candidly admits to stepping into “auto-pilot zone” during promotions.
“Me and PC (Priyanka Chopra) try to do it differently,” insists Ranbir, with Priyanka adding, “After the 12th interview it gets tough. And, Ranbir’s vocabulary is kind of limited!”
Set in the 1970s, in India, ‘Barfi!’ is about how a deaf-and-mute guy, who tries to woo an upper-class, classic beauty only to be shunted away because of the societal differences. He eventually reunites with her, much later, only this time he has already hooked up with an autistic girl.
Although their first, and earlier, romantic on-screen link-up in ‘Anjaana Anjaani’ proved rather unimpressive at the box-office, it doesn’t deter the confident duo from claiming ‘Barfi!’ could, in fact, prove to be a life-changing experience.
“It is a classic Romeo and Juliet kind of love story. There are so many unspoken moments and that’s what’s special,” describes Ranbir. “I’d say it’s one of the best love stories that I’ve heard. Yes, it is a happy, fun movie, but the core emotion is love.”
Describing the finer nuances of ‘Barfi!’, Priyanka insists it that it makes one believe that “life is too short to feel anything but happiness”.
“Everybody says it… life is too short… live for the moment. There are books written about it. But, till you actually feel it you will never realise the magnitude of that statement and that’s what I felt when I heard the narration,” she adds.
For Ranbir too, the reasons borders on similar lines. “It made me smile. Meeting Anurag. Seeing his vision, his heart. Everything about this film makes you happy.”
Interestingly none of the actors, barring Ranbir, got a full narration from director Anurag Basu, and yet they all decided to stick around despite it being a norm in B-town to get bounded scripts before signing on the dotted line. “Actually, I got 30 different narrations,” quips Ranbir.
The incomplete narration, the film’s producer and UTV-Disney head honcho Siddarth Roy Kapur explains was deliberate, only because Anurag dislikes dictating formal, sit-down narrations, and prefers to create the vibe of the film through personal discoveries.
“You need to coax it out of Anurag. You’ve got to devote half a day to it, and he’ll ultimately come out with it. In fact, after I watched the film, it was exactly what he said it was going to be during his first narration.”
‘Barfi!’ posed other obvious physical challenges, forcing the good-looking star cast to go de-glam and how. “Her (Priyanka) role is a bit more challenging than mine. The first few days I was a little nervous for her because there’s a fine line between hamming it or over-acting, but I think with the help of her talent and Anurag, they nailed it.”
He continues to wax eloquent about his co-star, almost as if to downplay the rumours of a supposed ‘rift’ in their friendship, adding, “Looking at how it has shaped up, I don’t think it could’ve become better. You don’t see Priyanka Chopra at all in this film, at the same time, you do see Priyanka Chopra.”
Clearly on a caffeine high, Ranbir rambles on about acting nuances and distinguished personal influences, with Priyanka chipping in with, “Have you ever seen me so quiet?”
He kept the fun pace going by analyzing why his legendary Casanova image, which Priyanka openly acknowledges, didn’t get much publicity in this film, despite romancing two gorgeous ladies. “It’s probably because I don’t speak in the film!” he quips.
On a more serious note, he adds, “I don’t want to sound stupidly pompous or anything but somewhere down the lane, my work is kind of overriding that stuff. There was a point when I was dating an actress and we were very open about it. But it became the talking point of my life. It’s just unfortunate that at that point in time, that just became a bigger part of my life.
“I am not dating anybody and if I was dating somebody I would be open about it. There’s no reason why I wouldn’t. But now I am just concentrating on my work.”
Veering back to ‘Barfi!’ the stars admit that they are far from being slotted in B-town’s golden couple club, which features Raj Kapoor-Nargis or SRK-Kajol, only because their body of work isn’t that extensive.
“You need a large body of work for that. We are only two films old, and it’s too premature to talk about it. Let’s see how people likes us in ‘Barfi!’, and our chemistry.”
Among other feats, ‘Barfi!’ marks Priyanka’s fifth movie with UTV productions, and third for Ranbir’s. “She’s one of those super stars who doesn’t mind putting herself out there and doing all sorts of roles,” adds Siddarth.
The chatty threesome, before being shuttled away for another media interview, maintains ‘Barfi!’ is a movie that needs to be experienced and shouldn’t be missed.