When Priyadarshan met SRK!
The present generation knows Priyadarshan for his mad capers, but there was a time when he used to make simple films with down to earth stories. Billu, though a little reckless and lacking consisitency, reminds us of the Priyadarshan of those days.
Billu is the story of Bilas Rao Pardesi (Irfan Khan) who is a small time barber in a village named Budbuda. He makes his ends meet with a lot of credit, attracting a lot of humiliation & contempt from his fellow villagers.
One day his life changes when his childhood friend & superstar Saahir Khan (SRK) arrives in his village for a film shooting. Billu suddenly finds himself in trouble, with everyone hounding him with their requests & favours for a meet or a glimpse of the super star.
The basic premise may sound interesting, but the element of intrigue ends there,as the film doesn’t have a concrete plot to tread on. It may be alleged as the retelling of the Kishna-Sudama tale, but Priyadarshan has set the story in modern times with his flair for inane comedy. The film wanders quite pointlessly till the 1st half, with all the gags & slapsticks his films are famous for. Not to forget SRK who lends his own charisma with his starry presence.
To give the film its due, It does tickle your funny bone for a major part. However, the fun element is confusingly blended with a serious tone towards the end making the audience a little uncomfortable.
However, the film majorly falters when it tries to create an emotional resonance in a script that had scope for plenty, but ends up delivering little. SRK may have sold the film on his name but he unfortunately he lacks the grounded ness when it comes to the grand finale which was perhaps the most crucial element of the entire film. He was fine, but not at his Best.
The one who lends an endearing quality to the film is Irfan who despite being repetitive drives the film on his own. He gets fine support from Lara Dutta who essays her part well (never mind that she couldn’t get the accent perfectly).
Rest of the cast is in fine form with Manoj Joshi deserving a special mention. But its completely saddening to see Om Puri and Rajpal Yadav making a fool out of themselves in the Priyadarshan flicks time and again.
Songs may be foot tapping but they are a bit too many in a free flowing script like this. The Cinematographer does manage to make the best of locales and creates a stunning visual frame.
Final Verdict : -
The directors intentions may be good but he fails to make a completely convincing film, despite a good concept. However, its not bad for a few chuckles and a decent entertainment package.
Rating : 2.75