By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: The Barfi character played to pitch-perfection by Ranbir Kapoor, patented, popularized and now globalized by its producers UTV and director Anurag Basu (seen on the left in the above picture), will now have a life outside the movies.
While Anurag doggedly refuses any suggestion of s sequel to Barfi, he is open to keeping Barfi’s character alive beyond the precincts of the film.
Says a source, “Anurag is in principle opposed to the idea of sequels. He has firmly cut down the suggestion of a Barfi 2. However he is open to renewing Barfi’s life-span in print form and maybe even a television series in animation form. The idea is to take the inspirational aspect of Barfi’s character beyond the parent film.”
When contacted, Anurag admitted of plans to take Barfi further. “We are discussing some possibilities. But it’s too early to talk about them. A sequel is definitely out. Where I will take Barfi’s story when he is already dead? If the producers feel comfortable with the idea they’re welcome to do sequel to Barfi. The Bhatts did a sequel to my film Murder.I was not involved with it.”
At the moment Barfi seems to have a life beyond what Anurag expected.
Says the exultant director, “The Oscar nomination is like a bonus. On the day it was announced I was locked away writing my next script, so I had no clue until late in the night. Let me not be overly modest and let me admit I knew Barfi would be liked by critics and would go to various film festivals. It has already been selected for the Pusan, Marrakesh and the Taipei film festival. What took me by surprise was the popular mandate given to Barfi. I never expected it to be so popular. I always looked up to Raj Kumar Hirani for making inspirational films that were warmly embraced by the masses. Now Barfi seems to have done the same.”
Anurag’s next two films are bio-pics on Bihar’s globally celebrated mathematician Anand Kumar and Kishore Kumar.
Says the director, “I first need signatures on legal documents authorizing me to make films on these two very different and dynamic people. I need to have a letter of consent from Anand and Kishore-da’s family. Luckily for me, both the parties are more than happy to have me making films on Anand and Kishore-da.Still, there is a great deal of legality and research to go through. No producer would touch a bio-pic without a legal letter of consent authorizing me to make the film.”
Anurag is leaving the entire Oscar strategy to his producers UTV. “They’ve more experience in the matter. This is my first film that’s going to the Oscars, so I am clueless how one goes about it.”
Anurag divulges that the Barfi team may take Aamir Khan’s help in getting their film to the Oscars. “Aamir has experience in how to position an Indian film for the Oscars. We’d be happy to follow his lead. At the moment we’re yet to devise a strategy for the Oscars.Abhi LA door hai.”
As for the franchise going into graphic and animation form, the areas are now being “seriously explored” with many global parties willing to invest in the franchise.