Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Billu Barber

Another recent Bollywood flick that I had the opportunity tosee in the theater is Billu (it had been originally titled Billu Barber—but protests from the barber’s union caused SRK’s production company to cut out the Barber). This movie stars Irrfan Khan, Lara Dutta, Shahrukh Khan, Om Puri, Rajpal Yadav, Asrani—with guest shots by Kareena Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, and Priyanka Chopra. It was directed by Priyadarshah, with the music by Pritam. It was released February 13th, 2009. It is basically the story of a simple village barber, Bilas Rao Pardesi (known as Billu, played by Irrfan Khan) and his family. The village of Budbuda (a fictional village in Uddar Pradesh). Billu is very poor, hardly able to keep the electricity in his home or pay his kids’ school fees. SRK plays the superstar Saahir Khan (a slightly over the top version of SRK himself!)—and when his production company comes to Billu’s village to film, the village is turned upside down. Somehow, the news that Billu and Saahir were childhood friends gets around, and the village begins to feel that Billu can get all sorts of favors from his famous friend for the village. At first, Billu keeps denying that he knew Saahir, but soon the village is so overcome with the idea of one of their own being a friend of Saahir, that Billu goes along for the ride. Well the security around Saahir will not let anyone from the town get near him, and the local school invites Saahir to an anniversary of the school. Saahir is finally worn down by all the requests and goes—when he begins to give a speech to the school kids about his dear childhood friend whom gave him money to head to Mumbai to take up his dream of acting—Billu is finally recognized as the true friend he is. The climactic scene is when Saahir comes to Billu’s very modest house to meet his old friend, Saahir asks why he never got it touch with him when Billu was suffering—Billu, being modest, says that he did not want to seem a friend that desired benefits. This is a funny, snide, and chiding look at the politics behind the film industry in India!! There are many enjoyable moments—when the guesthouse owner flubs his one line in the film over and over—we were nearly rolling in the aisles!! Go; enjoy a good family film that will join my collection soon!! The music is wonderful, the songs are catchy and will stay with you; I especially love Marjaani!

1 comment:

  1. i love that SRK plays himself in this movie! what other testament to his greatest do you need?? If its your first Bollywood film, you would definitely miss out on the magnitude of what his status is in India,from this movie. Even so, this film belongs to Irrfan Khan who is an absolutely wonderful, understated actor. Life in a Metro is another movie that he impressed me in. I haven't seen The Namesake(I get all sorts of huffs when people hear this. its not a bollywood movie anyway! I do intend to see it though) which I know he is in, but Slumdog Millionaire and Darjeeling Limited are other Western films he has been in. In Aaja Nachle is good but not a scene-stealer. I enjoyed Lara Dutta in a more traditional role. After seeing her solely in Jhoom Barabar Jhoom,I was pleased to see she is a versatile actress. Marjaani--yup. I think i've watched that song 25 times ha;)