Oscar nomination for ‘Barfi!’ is like icing on cake: Basu

Mumbai: Director Anurag Basu feels the selection of ‘Barfi’ as India’s official entry to the Oscars in the foreign language film category is like an “icing on the cake”.

‘Barfi!’ beat 19 other films to become India’s representative at the 85th Academy Awards to be held in February, 2013.

“We had not expected this kind of response to it – from Oscar nomination to box office collections to critical acclaim. All we knew is that we are making a special and a good film. I am numb, don’t know how to react. I feel blessed. The Oscar nomination is icing on the cake,” Basu told PTI.

‘Barfi!’ released in India on September 14 and registered Rs 58.6 crores in its opening week at the box office.

“It is a long way to go (in reference to Oscars). We are quite hopeful about the movie. All this will definitely give me more confidence but at the same time it will have an effect on my next film,” he said.

A romantic comedy, the film revolves around a happy-go-lucky person Barfi, played by Ranbir Kapoor, as he goes through love and heartbreak. Priyanka Chopra plays an autistic girl, while it also marks the Bollywood debut of southern star Ileana D’Cruz.

Basu, whose last film ‘Kites’ was a big disappointment at the box office, has been lauded for the sensitive handling of the subject.

“We never thought we would get this kind of response. It is humbling. Box office collection does matter to some extent as we are in the business of filmmaking. But we intend to touch several hearts. If people get connected and the film entertains them, that is a victory for all of us,” Basu said.

“We do not make films thinking how much it will do well at the box office, what critics will say, all we want is that audience should like it,” he said.

At a time when a film’s success is gauged if it makes a Rs 100 crore mark at the box office, now that ‘Barfi’ has made approximately Rs 60 crore, Anurag intends to touch hearts of the audience with his presentation.

“I would be happy if the film touches hundreds of hearts. The cost of production of ‘Barfi’ is Rs 35 crore, and going by the box collection we are already in profit. So whatever comes above this is good,” Basu said.

On if there are any plans of an English version of ‘Barfi’ for the overseas audience, Basu said, “There are hardly 20 minutes of dialogues in the film. We haven’t thought of it yet. I think the decision will be taken by our producers Ronnie Screwvala and Siddharth Roy Kapoor.”

Considering that in the film, Ranbir played a deaf and mute person while Priyanka was an autistic girl and with little dialogues, there were chances that the movie could have fallen flat.

“I wanted to take the risk. The reason why I did this film is because I was given an opportunity to tell a story without dialogues, through visual medium with the help of camera. I was never shy in making it. I wanted to do it,” Basu said.