Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra-starrer Bollywood film “Barfi”, the love story of a deaf and mute boy set in the fairy-tale world of the 1970s Darjeeling Hills in West Bengal, has been chosen as India’s entry to the Oscars next year in the Best Foreign Language Film category.
The film, directed by Anurag Basu, was released in the first week of September this year and received critical and audience appreciation.
The story revolves around Barfi (played by Ranbir), a poor but lovable deaf and mute boy, who lives a happy life despite his disability. He soon meets and falls in love with a pretty Bengali girl Shruti but heartbreak follows. He then develops a bond with his autistic childhood friend, played by Priyanka.
“Barfi” was chosen for the Oscars, ahead of 19 other films including “Kahani” and “Pan Singh Tomar”, according to Supran Sen, secretary general of Film Federation of India.
It is good news for Anurag Basu whose last film “Kites” had bombed at the box office.
Ranbir, who has managed to impress critics and his fans with his acting despite having no dialogues, said he took inspiration to portray the character from Hollywood legend Charlie Chaplin and his grandfather Raj Kapoor. Priyanka called the film a “labour of love”.
“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 and to see everyone loving Jhilmil is such a dream come true,” she said.
Ranbir was much more restrained in his reaction. He said while he was happy that “Barfi” would compete for the Oscars, one should not get excited for the simple reason it has not yet made to the final five category.
He said if the film manages to get into the final race, he would consult Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan how to go about promoting the film in Los Angeles. Aamir’s “Lagaan” had made it to the final five in 2005 but failed to win the award.
The Oscars would be presented in February next year.
-With The Daily Star input