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BILLU (BARBER) : The combo of Shahrukh, Irfan & Priyadarshan falls flat and fails to deliver. (Review By Bobby Sing)

14 Feb, 2009 | Movie Reviews / 2009 Releases

Despite of the fact that Shahrukh himself went on to promote this movie to a great extent, it was not able to pull in the initial crowds. The King Khan, is there in the movie for a good length and keeps on coming back to hold the interest of the viewer, but sadly it doesn’t work most of the times except the climax. The movie is miles away from a comedy as projected in its initial trailers and is also not a highly enjoyable drama either. The only worth watching sequence is the excellent climax, well acted and high on emotional content. Priyadarshan, this time seems to be confused between the idea of making a comedy or a serious drama.

From the start itself you again see the same old village structure of Priyadarshan movies, with few characters such as a cunning moneylender, a wannabe poet – lyrics writer, a competitor saloon owner, a principal, an egoist school trustee and the hero, a poor barber, Billu, whose saloon in a very bad shape with no customers. Each character is introduced with a different sequence which tries to make you laugh at times but falls flat. The first half hour goes no-where and is completely uninteresting till Shahrukh comes as the hero Sahir Khan who is there for a movie shoot in the same village.
The story is about Billu (Irfan Khan), who is a childhood friend of Sahir Khan, but is not vocal about his relationship. The moment villagers come to know about this, everyone is there at Billu’s Saloon trying to win over him and meet Sahir Khan in person through Billu. It is indeed an interesting plot with a scope of many comic scenes but surprisingly not even one sequence makes you laugh or smile while watching. The simple and unexciting narration keeps on going till the climax and only the last 20 minutes are there to enjoy and have something to feel good about. The story is based on the legendary friendship between Lord Krishna and Sudama, but the screenplay is not able to hold the viewers interest for long and doesn’t deliver what was expected from it.
Irrfan Khan, for the first time, can be seen sleep walking through his role. He is back in his elements only in the final pinnacle of the movie. Irrfan is also not given any well written scenes to perform as compared to his talent. So it was really disappointing to see one of the best talents of bollywood, in there as the main lead but completely under-utilized by the director. Other well known but wasted actors include Om Puri, Rajpal Yadav and Asrani.
Unexpectedly, the Lightning in the dark clouds is Lara Dutta as Bindiya, Billu’s wife. She has really played the character beautifully with the right simplicity, depth and emotions. Lara is consistently coming up with good performances since “Partner” and surely has many more up in her sleeves in the years to come. The other merit of the movie is its Cinematography with fresh, heaven like locations seen for the first time. The village outdoors, green fields and mountains in the background have been captured splendidly by the director of photography.
Shahrukh, is impressive as Sahir Khan and tries his best to make the film interesting with his few good scenes. But the faulty writing and unimpressive direction holds him back and helpless. Looking at the movie and all the songs featuring Shahrukh, it seems that all those songs with Deepika, Priyanka and Kareena have been shot later on to add some more pull in the otherwise lackluster product. Shahrukh, as a producer, must have seen the movie and felt that something has to be done to make it a little spicy and interesting, hence all these songs.
But the three item songs are also unable to impress due to the mediocre tunes by Pritam and strange lyrics writing. In few, you don’t even understand the exact words sung by the singers. They are just added at regular intervals without any direct relation to the script and were completely un-required. The movie makes you feel, that Shahrukh knew that he has made a wrong movie. Symbolically, in the first scene itself, Shahrukh is shown making fun of his director’s vision and still goes on to shoot for his movie far away in a remote unknown village.
As it is his own home production, The King Khan also takes this golden opportunity to put a few scenes commenting on the other Khan’s in the Industry. But he is also intelligent enough to add a dialogue which says, ”We are all like a family in Film Industry and at times there are riffs in every family”.
In short, Billu (Barber), had a good plot but Priyadarshan, could not materialize on it. Sharukh and Irrfan try their best to entertain and come up with a brilliant emotional climax. But a 20 min good climax alone cannot save an otherwise uninspiring movie.

Rating : 2 / 5 (1 Point only for Climax)

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14 Feb 2009 / Comment ( 0 )
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