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Upperstall Review

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Billu

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Hindi, Drama, 2009, Color



Cast And Crew



Bilas Rao Pardesi (Irrfan Khan) or Billu lives in his village with his wife Bindiya (Lara Dutta) and two great kids. Life is bitter sweet as he struggles with the drudgeries of making ends meet and da-to-day living...Then one day a superstar Sahir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) comes into their lives and everything changes. Life changes, people change friends change, the village changes but one man does not... Billu.



Billu falls into typical Priyadarshan territory but sadly, it is not really Priyadarshan in form. The film, based on the Malayalam film, Katha Parayumbhol (2007), itself remade as†Kuselan (2008) in Tamil finally works in its finale but is otherwise inconsistent, uneven and not very engaging. Though admittedly, it has its share of the odd funny moment, a lot of the comedy doesnít really work.

The major problem lies in depiction of both the worlds Billu explores Ė that of Billu as well as his friend Sahir Khan. Both the worlds are exaggerated and full of what you call Priyadarshan realism. The village section, common to most of his films, is repetitive and beginning to pall now with stereotypes bordering on caricature doing silly antics while the depiction of the film world is no better falling into bad spoofy territory with even the three item numbers just about so-so. The story and screenplay fail to engage you and by the second half you are actually restless waiting for the film to end. It is high time Priyadarshan re-invent himself now.

However, what really manages to work for the film is its end. The meeting between the two friends is poignant and touches you. Both SRK and Irrfan give the scene their all thereby ending the film on a high. But in the final analysis, itís much too little much too late.

Coming to the performances, Irrfan is efficient enough in the film but no more. He is a tad too understated in the film accepting whatever happens to him in life though he really shines finally in the meeting scene when you see his true ability as a performer. Shah Rukh makes the most of his loooooong monologue in the school in typical SRK fashion and yes, manages to make it work and work well. Otherwise his is a largely undemanding role. Lara Dutta tries sincerely but again is what you call filmi simple. Om Puri, Asrani, Rajpal Yadav and other Priyan regulars seem to be having a good time in the film but as mentioned earlier their antics in the village appear naive, stupid and repetitive.

Technically, the DI leads to a very synthetic looking feel to the film. The film fails to utilize the beauty of Pollachi as effectively as it could. Pritamís music is energetic enough and goes well with the film. Mar Jaani is already quite a chartbuster. Rest of the technicalities are just about adequate.

All in all, Billu is very average at best and nothing more.


Upperstall review by: Karan Bali aka TheThirdMan





 

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