REVIEW : BILLU
Finally after the name change controversy BILLU arrives in theatres today and I must say he has not disappointed at all.
BILLU originally titled BILLU BARBER is a remake of Tamil film KUSELAN, starring RAJNIKANTH, which although surprisingly was not a hit as expected. But Priyadarshan has well adapted the film to Hindi fraternity with some beautiful moments of friendship and simplicity. Plus a superb job done by BILLU aka IRRFAN KHAN as title role has done wonders for the film.
BILLU is a very simple film of an ordinary man Billu aka Bilas Rao Pardesi (Irrfan Khan) who is a skilled barber in a small village, but somehow his business is not flourishing. But his life changes once his childhood buddy Sahir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan), who is a film Superstar and arrives in his village for his film shooting.
In their childhood days Billu who is somewhat better-off then and Sahir were close friends sharing their school tiffin. So much so that Billu sells off his gold ear rings so that his friend Sahir can go to Mumbai and fulfill his dreams in filmworld.
Once they are separated, Blllu leads his life in poverty with his wife Bindiya (Lara Dutta) and two children, running his barber shop which is not doing well.
And now when filmstar Sahir is back in his life, it takes a U-turn, when villagers come to know about their old friendship, now everybody in the village like Rajpal Yadav (a poet), Om Puri (money lender), Rasika Joshi (School Principal) etc. expects favour from Billu. But on the contrary Billu is bit hesitant and feels embarrassed to use his friendship for his village folks and himself, inspite of whole village threatening to boycott him.
Nowadays Bollywood is focusing on simple man’s life, be it A WEDNESDAY, RAB NE BANA DI JODI, MUMBAI MERI JAAN, SINGH IS KINNG and surprisingly all such films are doing well, seems they easily connect with real life ordinary man’s character.
BILLU is a beautiful simple film well directed by Priyadarshan depicting the similarity between poor Sudama and Lord Krishna fable. Infact, BILLU can be termed as one of his finest jobs much above is silly loud run-of-the mill comedies, being churned out from him every now and then. Direction is well supported by tight Screenplay from Mushtaq Shiekh and Priyadarshan.
As far as performances are considered Irrfan Khan as usual is fantastic and simply slips into the character of a poor barber, wonder if anybody else could have carried it off so superbly. Lara Dutta surprisingly fits well into a deglamourised village belle character. Shah Rukh Khan and his item songs with Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone and, Kareena Kapoor add glamour and Star Value to the film. Not only this, credit should be given to SRK the producer in the sense that he does not overshadow Irrfan Khan who plays the main lead in the film and moreover SRK as an actor excels in the Climax of the film, which is brilliant.
Music by Pritam is situational and gells well with the film, especially “Mar Jani” with Kareena Kapoor. Photogaraphy is superb, well capturing the beautiful locales of Kerala Village.
Overall, BILLU is a sweet, simple and a beautiful film depicting simplicity and a tale of friendship in a simple heartwarming way.
It has opened up very well throughout the country, let’s see how it copes up after the first week.
I will give 3 out of 5.
Banner : Red Chillies Entertainment
Released on : February 13, 2009
Language : Hindi
Genre : Drama & Social
Producer : Gauri Khan
Director : Priyadarshan
Star Cast :
Shahrukh Khan - Sahir Khan
Irrfan Khan - Bilas Rao PardesiLara Dutta – Bindiya
Om Puri – Damchand
Rajpal Yadav – Jhallan Prasad
Rasika Joshi - Gahlot
SPECIAL APPEARANCES : Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone
Music on : T-Series
Music : Pritam
Main Singers : Sukhwinder Singh, Sunidhi Chauhan, Neeraj Shridhar, KK, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Abhijeet, Tulsi Kumar, Dominique, Monali, Rana Majumdar, Soham
Cinematography : V. Manikanandan
Choreography : Farah Khan, Prasanna & Pony Verma
Story : Shrinivasan & Kanika Dhillon
Screenplay : Mushtaq Sheikh & Priyadarshan