Glaring resemblance to "The Notebook" aside, this film was beautifully filmed and acted - definitely worth a watch. It raises many questions such as how mental handicap and mental/physical handicap are dealt with in South Asian societies, and also how they are portrayed or even manipulated in film. I felt Ileana D'Cruz completely stole the show with her performance.
I really liked this movie, it has me rethinking the criticism of Tarantino's mix tape filmmaking. It's is an amalgamation of so many sources, yet it is so endearing and effective. Primarily due to the leads Kapoor and Chopra. They make you care about the central courtship and make the ending truly compelling. It's easy to point at it and name the borrowed parts, but the whole is much more than it's parts.
It is cuteness overload with lots of references to Chaplin, Keaton and even the Notebook (of all things!) and innocent and magical just like a Wes Anderson film. Priyanka Chopra and Ranbir Kapoor give beautifully nuanced performances and Kapoor even has a pencil moustache which must be a nod to his legendary grandfather Raj Kapoor whose early films like Shree 420 were also influenced by Chaplin.
The film looks beautiful. But, the problem with it is that it didn't know how to tell the story. Jumping from past to the present and becoming a documentary with testimonials for some reason. And those things made it a film which started but then the story itself reset itself again turning it into an awful endurance test.
It's a bit long, and at points the soundtrack made it feel like a commercial. It can be slightly cheesy too, but it was sweet, endearing, well acted and really visually beautiful. It was also refreshing to see a mainstream film that treats its disabled characters as well rounded people, full of dreams, fears and issues of their own, not merely as a prop or plot enhancer, like so many hollywood films are guilty of.
I see that The Notebook and Chaplin references have already been spotted. As if it weren't obvious enough. It's too typical to remember, and causes me to 'barfi' from telegraphed events, but somewhere in the 150 unnecessary minutes the film lends it heart. I still say that they should have gone with the tragic ending that could have been. THAT alone would almost earn this 4 stars.