I can't say I've been surprised at the fawning reviews of Barfi but I have a feeling Raja Sen's review would come closest to my feelings on the topic, if I forced myself to see the film... which I won't do. To quote Mr. Raja Sen:
As Jhilmil, Priyanka Chopra, god bless her soul, does indeed try valiantly to play autistic, but -- trapped not just by the film's most flawed character and plotline -- makes that cardinal mistake expressed so unforgettably in Tropic Thunder: she goes full retard. She's not bad, even very effective in a couple of scenes, but her character belongs to a different film. (Ideally a shorter one, because it does drag this one down.)
Ah, finally, a note of sanity amidst the Taran Adarsh-led praise for PC's "autistic" performance. I haven't seen the film but I have been forced to sit through the trailer a handful of times in the theater and let me just say autism != coyly biting one's lip and secretly being in love Ranbir Kapoor.
I really wish Anurag Basu had taken some time to listen to Temple Grandin speak on the subject or read some Oliver Sacks because the autistic mind is fascinating... when not being used as a plot device.