• Priyanka Chopra and Ranbin Kapoor star in Barfi!

Having learned that it just became India’s entry for the Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar, I decided to check out Barfi! while it was still at the River East 21. I could understand at once why it’s such a hit in its native country. Ranbir Kapoor (grandson of the great director and movie star Raj Kapoor) is a wonderful mime, and his expressive performance as an impish deaf-mute is about as accomplished as Jean Dujardin’s in The Artist. Writer-director Anurag Basu raises the bar pretty high for Kapoor by having him re-create gags from Modern Times and the Buster Keaton short Cops in the film’s first 15 minutes, but he rises to the occasion, executing many difficult feats of slapstick across the lengthy running time.