Billu initially named Billu Barber is a remake of a successful 2007 Malayalam movie titled Kadha Parayumbol. Late last year the film was first remade in Tamil by South Indian superstar Rajnikanth, the film bombed at the box-office. When Priyadarshan offered the film to Shahrukh Khan the superstar completely bowled over by the script of the film, decided to remake it and produce it himself under the Red Chillies Entertainment Banner. Irrfan Khan essays the title role of Billu, Lara Dutta has been cast as Irrfan's wife. Shahrukh Khan has a key role in the film.
Billu is a story of a simple ordinary man who led an extra ordinary life. Billu (Irrfan Khan) was living in his village with his wife Bindiya (Lara Dutta) and two kids. One day a superstar comes into their village and changes their lives forever! The people around him change, friends change, the village changes, but one man did not... Billu, the barber! Will this ordinary man redefine the words ordinary? Will the world see the greatness behind his small existence? And most of all, Will life ever be the same for Billu Barber again?
Billu is a typical Priyadarshan film (thankfully without the loudness this time around) with its share of Khatta Meeta (Sweet and Sour) moments, an ordinary village tale made extraordinary by the sheer acting skills of Irrfan Khan. The initial hour or so is a drag, but not without its share of sweet, simple and at times funny moments. The witty dialogues also help to sustain the attention of the viewers. The film gains momentum post interval and the last 20 odd minutes is one of the most heart-stirring sequences in recent memory.
The story though is flawed, how does the village know Billu is Sahir's friend and why do they, without an iota of doubt, believe his words? The film also suffers because it's so very predictable. 30 minutes into the film, you can guess exactly what the end is going to be.
It's easy as an Indian to connect with 'Billu', India is a nation known for its passion towards Cricketers and Film stars. But even then the sequences that involve the entry of Sahir Khan (SRK) in Budbuda is a bit exaggerated.. The film in itself is a bit of a SRK overdose. If not for the man himself on screen, characters are shown worshipping him, dreaming about him and even dancing around trees! The character of Sahir too has too much of a resemblance to SRK, posters and a glimpse into almost each of his previous films is shown. He even wears a jacket with the words "King Khan" scribbled on the back!
Irrfan Khan holds the film together with his tremendous acting skills, flawless expressions and brilliant dialogue delivery. Lara Dutta is too glam for the role, performance wise she is good. Om Puri and Rajpal Yadav are funny. Ansari and the others have short roles. Shahrukh Khan does well in a role very similar to himself. The superstar delivers the final speech at the school exceedingly well.
To sum up, Billu deserves a watch for Irrfan Khan's brilliant performance as Billu or if you're a die-hard Shahrukh Khan fan. Else, wait for the DVD.
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