Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Billu: A story of Superstars, Fans and Friendship

Director: Priyadarshan
Producer: Gauri Khan
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Irrfan Khan, Lara Dutta, Om Puri, Rajpal Yadav, Manoj Joshi

Billu is the story of a simple ordinary man, Bilas Rao Pardesi aka Billu(Irrfan Khan), who, failing to compete with a new competitor Madan comes to the threshold of starving. In his decaying shop he awaits customers. At home, electricity gets disconnected due to nonpayment of bills, and his two kids are thrown out of school for the same cause.

The movie beautifully portrays the bitter-sweet image of the chequered and troubled star-fan relationship when the Bollywood superstar Sahir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) chooses the Budbuda village as the spot for his next shoot. Quite unexpectedly, Sahir Khan happens to be Billu's estranged childhood buddy, and the news spreads like bushfire in the village. Suddenly, Billu is elevated from the status of a pauper to a much sought after personality who is hunted by people wanting to meet Sahir. Priyadarshan succeeds in putting a warm sensitiveness when Billu tries to escape this sudden fame as he's convinced deep down his heart that Sahir wouldn't recognize him. Yet on the other side his wife Bindiya (Lara Dutta) and the two kids don't miss any opportunity to take the lead by mentioning the friendship of Billu and Sahir.

The best moment of 'Billu' comes during the end of the movie, when Sahir Khan breaks down at a school function remembering his childhood buddy Billu. Billu hears it from across a faraway fence and walks away.

This movie wouldn't be a success without SRK. He plays an autobiographical role and as usual rocks! But the true King Khan in this movie is Irrfan whose understated, meek and vulnerable portrayal of a lovable, penniless survivor wins over the heart of the viewers. It's a performance that can be watched more than once. Lara Dutta is just about okay, but one won't mind it as there's a constant comic splash from the likes of Om Puri and Rajpal Yadav in the first half.

The extravagant songs featuring the beauties like Kareena Kapoor, Deepika Padukone are really just forgettable, but the “Billu Bhayankar” and “Khudaya Khair” would be in the lips of the audience even after the movie gets over

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