Ranbir Kapoor was the first choice for 'Barfi!': Anurag Basu
Basu, who has directed films like 'Gangster', 'Murder', 'Life In A Metro' and 'Kites', says he did not have anyone else in mind for the central protagonist in case Ranbir would have declined the film.
"When I started work on the film, it was on a blank slate. As I started moving ahead with the story, I realised that the only person who would fit into the role was Ranbir. All other characters, including that of Priyanka, came in later," Basu said in an interview.
Ranbir is playing a deaf and mute young man in the film and the young star's character is influenced by Charlie Chaplin, who was also a favourite with his grandfather Raj Kapoor.
"The Chaplin influence was not there in the script when Ranbir came on board. It is just that as we progressed, it was felt that certain scenes would be elevated if Ranbir got into that mode. There is silence in the film, something which is the core of it, and there is a Chaplin layer to it as well. However, Ranbir is not imitating Chaplin in the film," Basu said.
The director says the first thing he explained to Ranbir was the film's title, which is also his character's name in the film.
"I explained to him that the film's title was closed once it was realised that this was turning out to be a very sweet film. The name has definite relevance in the film. It is heard at a very important juncture in the film because of the way this sound is heard for the first time."
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