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All Movie Reviews/Movie Talk: Billu (Beep)

Zareena IF-Stunnerz

Joined: 07 August 2008
Posts: 25384

Posted: 12 February 2009 at 10:04am | IP Logged

12 Feb 2009, 2015 hrs IST, Nikhat Kazmi, TNN

Film: Billu (Drama)
Cast: Irrfan Khan, Lara Dutta, Shah Rukh Khan (cameo)
Direction: Priyadarshan
Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes
Critic's rating: 3 stars

You cast Irrfan Khan in your film and you have half your work already done. The actor takes a role and interprets it in a way that is purely his own. So much so, you begin to wonder where does Irrfan end and Billu begin. Or maybe still, perhaps, there never was a duality between the two. Perhaps Irrfan and Maqbool, Irrfan and Ashoke (The Namesake), Irrfan and Monty (Life in a Metro) are one and same: the actor and the character being perfectly in sync with each other. And no, Irrfan doesn't play it the same always. With his mercurial craft, he has the ability to pitch it high, low, hysterical, restrained, violent, genteel...any which way the script demands.

Here, he plays Billu, the barber (hair dresser, hair stylist or what you will) with an easy charm and an exquisite finesse. As the archetypal Sudama (poor friend), he brings to life a throbbing picture of dignity and restraint, as he tries to cope with his abject poverty on one end and the arrival of his flashy superstar friend, Sahir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) on the other. Sahir is his childhood buddy, going back to those carefree days when the two shared their deprivation with brotherly warmth and care. Billu, the marginally better-off buddy, not only shared his tiffin but also sold his gold ear rings to send showman Sahir to Mumbai for a career in films. And once their paths diverged, he quietly crept back into the shadows with his crumbling barber's shop and his frugal family life, while Sahir got cloistered in his ivory tower that results from too much fame and glamour.

Now that Sahir's back in the picturesque village for a corny film shoot, life doesn't remain the same for laid-back Billu. Everyone gets a whiff of their legendary friendship and wants a slice of the Sahir pie. Everyone, except Billu who doesn't want to embarrass his friend with his decrepit state, despite the fact that the village almost threatens to boycott him and his broken barber's chair.

The film may not have done well in its Tamil version (Kuselan), but Priyadarshan has suitably peppered it with some heart-tugging moments to make it a moving ode to friendship and ordinariness. Of course, Irrfan manages to invest the ordinary with kingly glow, even as Shah Rukh lends the glamour quotient with his filmy naach-gaana. Surprisingly, Lara Dutta too manages to fit in with her deglamourised avtar as the lowly barber's better-half, in crumpled cottons and low-back cholis.

Also check out more stills from Billu

Zareena IF-Stunnerz

Joined: 07 August 2008
Posts: 25384

Posted: 12 February 2009 at 10:07am | IP Logged
Billu: Movie Review

12 Feb, 2009 08:30 pm ISTlINDIATIMES MOVIES

Rating: **

Though the makers deny 'Billu' to be a remake, the story is a frame to frame replication of the original Malayalam film Katha Parayambul, or the Tamil version, Kuselan. And by roping Shah Rukh Khan to play the lead role, all that Priyadarshan has done is try to give this attempt a new lease of life.

While Irrfan Khan executes the title role well - as is now expected of him, Shah Rukh Khan adopts no innovative avatar. Kareena, Deepika, Priyanka, too, are there just for star value.

The story - Bilas Rao Pardesi (Irrfan Khan) works as a smalltime barber in a village and is referred to as Billu Barber. Life for Billu, his wife Bindiya (Lara Dutta) and two kids is bitter-sweet. But things take a turn when superstar Sahir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) comes to the village to shoot his next film.

Billu has been Sahir Khan's classmate in his childhood days. When the village comes to know of this fact, their outlook towards Billu changes and overnight he becomes the most significant person for the villagers who want to get a glimpse of the star Sahir Khan.

From a laughing stock for the villagers, Billu suddenly becomes the center of attraction. Everyone from the landlords of the village to the principal of his children's school wants to get in touch with Sahir Khan through Billu. They go out of their way to lend support to the indigent barber.

The storyline is one-dimensional through out; there aren't any twists and turns in this one. Priyadarsan tries hard to make up for the flat script and screenplay with an emotional climax that turns out to be too co-incidental and convenient.

There are glitches galore - Lara Dutta is always decked up despite her poor family status; Sahir Khan wants to shoot a futuristic film in a village...

With select associations taking offence to the word 'Barber', the word has been muted in songs, but retained in dialogues.

To sum it up, Billu is strictly an average fare, and sadly not one of the better experiences of Baal-iwood!
Zareena IF-Stunnerz

Joined: 07 August 2008
Posts: 25384

Posted: 12 February 2009 at 11:08am | IP Logged
Mouthshut Review

Some people hold to truth which is hard. Truth has no wings or attachments. It is so solid. Desires and dreams on the other hand have many wings. Not many of us like solid truth. We fit wings to it and tempt it to fly. We will add water in the milk, fill air in the balloon till it blow up, and cover up our faces with false make ups. Slowly we train the truth how to fly…but how long the truth can fly with this patch up wings?

On the other hand,there are people who live in virtual world, who sells dreams and have a glittering and dreamy life in outsider's view. However, can this glamor and dreams give them happiness and freedom which others enjoy without knowing its value? When they possess money and fame doesn't it make a prison out of it, so that the truth and peace cannot enter? How far they can hold to their true self unaffected by the fast pace and vast wings?

Billu is a story of Billu (Irfaan Khan), who is a barber by profession lives a life close to truth and down to earth. He however is not ready to give up his values in front of struggles - even when his children are been thrown out of school or when his earnings get reduced day by day. His children make fun of him but his wife (Lara Dutta) with whom he ran away from the home village share his struggles. Billu is also the story of Zahir Khan (Shahrukh Khan) who was a class mate of Billu and now flying all high and the superstar of the time. Each success comes with attached strings ofdanger and he is now having a Z category security. Zahir Khan's unit comes to a small city near to Billu's village. The news is been flashed that Billu and Zahir were classmates and the life is not the same again for him. Watch Billu (Billu Barber) to know more about it.

The movie is a remake of Malayalam super hit 'KathaParayumbol'. Priyadarsan has done an excellent job in replanting the story to a different soil with perfection. This remake is on par or a bit better than the original in many aspects. (In the climax however Mammootty definitely took an edge over Shahrukh Khan). When the project was first announced I was less convinced that this is a product which will go in line with the tastes of Bollywood audience. However, after watching the movie I now think wish and expect my earlier conviction to find wrong.

The director who has proved many times that he is a superhit director for comedy movies. He however also proved that he is more than a comedy director. Billu Barber is definitely a superior product from Priyadarsan. With the help of a fine story (Sreenivasan)the movie keep the audience engaged and in the hands of Priyan the characters got more strong and the presentation far better. With the added technical brilliance and glamor the film is well made in a commercial format but applause is on for keeping the soul intact. All congrats to Priyadarsan! (Screen play is very good and dialogues need special mention.)

Irfaan Khan is known for his excellent performance in many films and Billu gives a perfect platform for this brilliant artist and see how he performs! Superb!! Shahrukh Khan is more natural in the film where the role demands exactly the same. The climax scene gives an excellent opportunity to the actor to show his caliber and Shahrukh did a good job. His dance scenes well mixed to the plot and he was quite cool in them as well. Lara Dutta who dared to play the typical village woman and mother of two in the glamor filled industry proved more than a point. Two child artists were natural and cool. Rajpal Yadav and Om Puri had to settle with small roles but they added fun in many places. Jagadeesh could not create the magic he did in the original or his earlier outings in bollywood. Asrani, Manoj Joshi & Rasika Joshi all did their small roles convincingly.

Cinematography is first class. The beauty of a virgin village or a poor but naughty night Manikandan's camerawork is an added attraction. The closeup shots in the climax scenes however could have been better. Otherwise it is a beautiful work by the cinematographer who created the mood for each frame in the style required for it.

For a change I had heard the films songs earlier but somehow didn't attracted me much, except the Khudaya Kher. However on screen the other songs too were looking good. Choreography is competent. The song shot on Shahrukh and Deepika is the best choreographed with good creativity. The song which mixes various Shahrukh film parts is innovative and will surely makes some nostalgia. Other songs too choreographed well but less creative in comparison.

Editing is one department Priyadarsan need to fix a quality editor whose absence can make a difference to a film. This time around the damage is less. Only on few scenes the fault comes out otherwise the film is well edited in most parts. However, have to say in the hands of a good editor the climax scene would have been definitely better.

The film has all it takes to keep a viewer to stick to the seat and we could not ask for better. Fora Shahrukh Khan fan this may be a treat where one can identify with the situations better. I have to make my reservation on the box office success of the film but the best possibility is that this film may become a hit among classes and masses where the film has something for both the groups to identify with. The film may not be a match to the romance mood on air, but it is a good entertainer and a good cinema. Go for it!

Do tell me what happens when the truth which tries to fly away meets with a dream which landed on earth with its soul intact?

Plot Revealed In The Review: Somewhat revealed
Best to watch with: Alone
Movie Genre: Drama
Best part in the movie: Plot
Zareena IF-Stunnerz

Joined: 07 August 2008
Posts: 25384

Posted: 12 February 2009 at 11:20am | IP Logged
All Eyes On Billu

Thursday 12th February 2009 18.00 IST
Boxofficeindia.Com Trade Network

The year of is off to a very bad start and anow all eyes are on Billu to tyrn things around. The film is a medium budget film but the presence of Shahrukh Khan in three item songs with top heroines like Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone does give it a feel of a big film.

The advance bookings are well below the mark at multiplexes. The film will have a fairly large release of 8-10-12 shows daily at multiplexes and around 900 cinemas across India mainly due to the presence of Shahrukh Khan.

The single screen advance which opened Monday was also not exciting and now it remains to be seen what sort of opening the film fetches tomorrow.
friends_rock IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 14 October 2006
Posts: 19346

Posted: 12 February 2009 at 11:32am | IP Logged
thankoo i think it will be a average movie!
Zareena IF-Stunnerz

Joined: 07 August 2008
Posts: 25384

Posted: 12 February 2009 at 12:07pm | IP Logged
^^you're welcomeBig smile

Advance booking opened today, eros and multiplexes issue also got resolved today. So let's see how the weekend will go. I am expecting atleast a HIT status if not more.
Zareena IF-Stunnerz

Joined: 07 August 2008
Posts: 25384

Posted: 12 February 2009 at 12:31pm | IP Logged
Taran's RATINGS - 3.5 STARS

Priyadarshan is synonymous with ha-ha-thons, but the talented storyteller has been equally proficient while handling intense dramas like SAZA-E-KALA PANI, GARDISH and VIRASAT. Like VIRASAT and MALAMAAL WEEKLY, BILLU, the accomplished director's new outing, is also set in a hamlet.

Although the story has been attempted in Malayalam [KADHA PARAYUMBOL] and Tamil [KUSELAN] earlier, the story actually takes its inspiration from the legendary friendship between Lord Krishna and Sudama. In this case, the story talks of the friendship between a superstar and an ordinary mortal who runs a salon.

BILLU is a simple story about simple people, told in the most simplistic manner. There's a generous dose of glamour as well, given the fact that the protagonist's friend happens to be a superstar, but what actually works for the film is the simpleton's story. He wages a daily battle to make ends meet.

Write your own movie review of Billu
Although the film is engaging, Priyadarshan reserves the best for the finale this time, when the superstar reminisces about his childhood friend and the deep bond that they shared. The end is remarkable and is sure to strike a chord with all sections of moviegoers.

Final word? BILLU is amongst Priyadarshan's finest works. And also Irrfan and SRK's. This tale of friendship is sure to steal your heart!

BILLU tells the story of a simple ordinary man, Bilas Rao Pardesi [Irrfan Khan], living in a small town with his wife Bindiya [Lara Dutta] and two kids. His life undergoes a drastic change as superstar Sahir Khan [Shah Rukh Khan] visits the village for a film shoot. Everything changes. Things go from good to bad to worse to good again.

Ten minutes into the film and you get absorbed into Billu's small world. The salon is in bad shape, the family is facing tough times, the neighbours and acquaintances are fair-weather friends… Billu's life gets grim with each passing day.

The story takes an interesting turn when Billu's life collides with the superstar's. And the assorted characters -- right from an aspiring poet/lyricist [Rajpal Yadav], to a stingy money lender [Om Puri], to the principal of the school [Rasika Joshi] -- everyone wants favours from Billu. These characters only make BILLU more interesting.

SRK's track is equally fascinating and only spices up the proceedings. In fact, Priyadarshan has amalgamated the three songs [featuring SRK with Deepika, Priyanka and Kareena] in the narrative smartly. Not once do you feel that you're watching two stories concurrently.

The best part of the enterprise is its climax. The superstar recalls his humble beginning and how his friend stood by him in times of crisis. The writing is brilliant and SRK only takes the scene to greater heights with his terrific portrayal.

Priyadarshan is adept at handling relationships and with BILLU, he proves he can handle emotions with as much flourish as comedy. To tell a simple, uncomplicated story, without the usual frills, is an arduous task indeed and Priyadarshan tackles the material with remarkable ease. The humour here is subtle, not loud, and a constant smile remains on your face all through.

Mushtaq Shiekh and Priyadarshan's screenplay is foolproof. In fact, the writing never loses focus and the highs and the lows in Billu's life are sensitively penned by the duo. Manisha Korde's dialogues are simple, gelling with the mood of the film.

Pritam's music is energetic. The songs, promoted aggressively prior to the release, only get an impetus thanks to the presence of the three actresses. 'Mar Jaani' and 'Love Mera Hit Hit' are, of course, the pick of the lot. V. Manikandan's cinematography is top notch. The locales [Pollachi] are breath-taking.

In the recent years, Irrfan has emerged as a force to reckon with, his performances have appealed to all strata of moviegoers and his work in BILLU will only cement his status as a remarkable actor. Shah Rukh Khan needs to be admired for two reasons. The show belongs to Irrfan, although SRK could've forced himself in every scene. Also, he has chosen to opt for a film that's not one of those run-of-the-mill types. In terms of performance, SRK shows his true potential towards the finale.

Lara Dutta springs a pleasant surprise. She goes through her part with complete understanding. Om Puri is excellent. Rasika Joshi is too good. Rajpal Yadav is really funny in the penultimate scene, when he recites a film song of an SRK film. Asrani and Manoj Joshi are passable.

On the whole, BILLU is a sweet-n-simple film that lingers in your memory even after the show has concluded. The final 20 minutes are the highpoint of the enterprise and that elevates the status of the film to great heights. The film has the potential to grow with a strong word of mouth. Recommended…
Take your family for this one!

anna143 IF-Dazzler

Joined: 21 December 2005
Posts: 4250

Posted: 12 February 2009 at 5:53pm | IP Logged
thanx my tickets already booked. Cant wait for tomorrow :)

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