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All Movie Reviews/Movie Talk: Billu (Beep) (Page 3)

Zareena IF-Stunnerz

Joined: 07 August 2008
Posts: 25384

Posted: 13 February 2009 at 12:46am | IP Logged

Cast: Shahrukh Khan, Irrfan Khan, Lara Dutta, Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone
Director: Priyadarshan
Producer: Gauri Khan
Anupama Chopra, Condulting Editor, Films, NDTV

Billu, the remake of the Malayalam blockbuster Kadhaparayumbol, is a contemporary Krishna-Sudama story.

Instead of a celestial being, we have a film actor, which is a fitting parallel in our celebrity-obsessed times. And instead of a poor Brahmin, we have a poor barber.

Billu, played by Irrfan Khan, lives in a UP village called Budbuda, He is a simple man leading a simple life, until a film unit arrives to shoot a futuristic film.

Why the director wanted to shoot an inter-galactic saga in a village is never explained but Bollywood throws Budbuda into a total tizzy. More so because Billu is a childhood friend of the film's hero, superstar Saahir Khan, played by Shah Rukh Khan. Billu and Saahir inhabit different worlds. When their paths intersect, there is anguish, humiliation and ultimately redemption.

Kadhaparayumbol is propelled by emotions. The film's poignance comes from the barber's character - his acerbic tongue, his mouse-like insecurities and his sadness at being unable to give his family a better life. The superstar, played by Mammooty, has very little screen time. The star is seen as a distant, mythical creature whose charmed life fills the villagers with awe. Their passionate, reverential response to his stardom is a comment on celebrity and the relationship between stars and fans, especially in India.

Now, the advantage of casting Shah Rukh as a superstar is that the fact doesn't need to be established. Shah Rukh Khan is short-hand for stardom. But director Priyadarshan and writer Mushtaq Sheikh spend way too much footage underlining this: there are three film-within-film songs with leading heroines and several gratuitous sequences, including one in which Saahir arrives in the village in a helicopter which has King Khan written on it.

The result is that we get little sense of Billu, his family or the other villagers, who play a critical role in the disruption of Billu's life.

The village itself is a curious contradiction. It's supposed to be in UP but the landscape is lush green Kerala interspersed with what looks like a studio-version of a small town chowk.

The villagers speak with various accents, the local school-teacher talks about parent-teacher conferences and in one sequence, we see a newsstand that sells Vogue magazine.

Detailing obviously isn't Priyadarshan's forte. He paints in broad strokes but at least in films like Bhool Bhulliya, he maintains a narrative momentum.

Billu is oddly staid and passionless, as if everyone involved was simply going through the motions.

The second half gathers some steam and the climax of the film is moving, but it is too little, too late. Billu remains a strictly average film, which given the talent involved, is disappointing. This one is for die-hard Shah Rukh Khan fans only.

Zareena IF-Stunnerz

Joined: 07 August 2008
Posts: 25384

Posted: 13 February 2009 at 12:48am | IP Logged
Strange! She didn't mentioned Irfan Khan performance.
lavienrose IF-Stunnerz

Joined: 10 December 2007
Posts: 27427

Posted: 13 February 2009 at 10:28am | IP Logged
hmm I think it'll be a hit or an average movie
Zareena IF-Stunnerz

Joined: 07 August 2008
Posts: 25384

Posted: 13 February 2009 at 11:49am | IP Logged
Billu opens with 30-40 pc collections; trade analysts hopeful

Posted: Feb 13, 2009 at 1533 hrs IST

Mumbai: Shah Rukh Khan's 'Billu', a tale of friendship between a poor barber and his superstar friend opened worldwide today.

Eros Pictures said it has distributed the film in over 1000 screens worldwide.

However, the film's opening was "not up to the mark" with the opening morning shows registering about 30 to 40 per cent collections in the city, trade sources said.

Kumar Mohan, editor of trade magazine 'Complete Cinema' said the film was good and collections would pick up.

Trade analyst Taran Adarsh said the film has a potential to grow with a strong word of mouth.

The story has been attempted earlier in Malayalam 'Katha Parayumbol' starring Mamoothy and Sreenivasan and in Tamil 'Kuselan' starring Rajnikant.

Taran said the climax of 'Billu' where the superstar (Shah Rukh) recalls his humble beginnings and how his friend stood by him in times of crisis was the highpoint. "The last 20 minutes elevates the status of the film to greater heights," he said.

However, some viewers who saw the morning show felt that the story was predictable.

Veena who watched the film with her friends this morning said," the surprise package was Lara Dutta who sheds her glamorous image to fit the role of 'Bindiya', Billu's wife.

"Irrfan Khan stands out as the protagonist Billu. The film belongs to Irrfran and it is to the credit of Shah Rukh that he does not attempt to steal the limelight," said Kunal.

Akshat said the scene which refers to film star rivalries and Shah Rukh's character Sahir Khan defending the film industry was very interesting.

Vipul wondered what hairdressers and salon association representatives have gained by demanding that the word 'Barber' be dropped from the title.

"The mention of the word 'Hajam' (hindi meaning of barber) has been beeped in the song 'Billu Bhayankar', but through the lip movements the audience knows what is the word.

There was nothing derogatory about the profession in the film," he said adding that he loved the way Shah Rukh presented the superstar character on screen.

pksanam IF-Rockerz

Joined: 27 September 2007
Posts: 9833

Posted: 13 February 2009 at 12:03pm | IP Logged
wow.. Zareena.. good job.. let's see.. i'll probably try to watch it sometme next weekend.. hopefully it will at least be a hit, if not superhit..
mariasrk IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 21 August 2007
Posts: 22416

Posted: 13 February 2009 at 12:08pm | IP Logged
Well i haven't seen billu...........going to watch it on monday or someday lol.............well i think ppl should lyk it.....i think its going to be a blockboster............i hope so.............can't wait to see it.................
swan20 IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 24 February 2008
Posts: 19292

Posted: 13 February 2009 at 1:06pm | IP Logged
well its got mixed reviews.......will definitely watch it though.

thanks for posting the reviews.

Edited by swan20 - 13 February 2009 at 1:06pm

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