Billu & Baadshah
A nightmare called “Kuselan” kept haunting its re-makers, forcing them to keep the superstar guest appearance extending…and further extending with an item song at each drop of the hat…
Bilasrao Pardesi a.k.a. Billu (Irrfan) had once married a girl Bindiya (Lara) belonging to a different caste and hence was forced to leave his ancestral village. He moved to village Budbuda and opened a b***** shop there. Time takes a leap and now he is a father of two kids Gunja and Duggu (Mitali and Pratik), but he doesn’t wish to change with the advancing age. Hence he has his competitors running state-of-the-art salon “Rakhi Sawant” next to his vintage shop “Nirupa Roy”, pushing his income further down. He is unable to run his house and fund for his kids education.
Sahir Khan, a bollywood superstar fully drowned in some “hithitkhitpit” with his leading ladies, is told that the crew needs to shot some sequences in a village. Sahir suggests going to Budbuda. The news spreads fast and everybody in the village is overwhelmed. Nobody knows that Billu is Sahir’s childhood friend, not even his family. When he shares this, the whole village comes to know about this and he starts getting VIP treatment by all. The loan shark Damchand (Om Puri), school principal Mrs. Gahlot (Rasika Joshi) and others are after Billu’s family to arrange for rendezvous with Sahir. Billu is apprehensive about going to his “now rich” friend, and thus faces the curses of fellow villagers. But he remains calm and quite. Later Sahir himself narrates his story to the villagers which had Billu as the first stepping stone to his success…
Seeing Kuselan’s disastrous performance, the well proven formula of incorporating dance numbers (OSO, Hey Babyy, and Krazzy4 etc), here Deepika, Priyanka and Kareena have been plotted to get three foot-tapping numbers and keep the audience engaged. It doesn’t work completely here. Set design and dialogue delivery are of utmost importance while making a film on rural area. The village does not appear to be a part of UP, and the dialogue delivery of most of the artists bear the thick accent of their actual demographic locations. Priyadarshan should have taken some clues from ‘Welcome to Sajjanpur”.
Performances: Shahrukh plays his part alright, but no over-achievement. Lara is probably the only beauty pageant winner in bollywood of the last decade, who looks authentic in roles and costumes based on rural India (discount the backless designer-wears here of a wife whose hubby has only one rupee note in his pocket always). Om Puri performs well. Rajpal Yadav is over the top but does well in the climax scene. Rasika Joshi, Manoj Joshi and Asrani are alright. But the performer who takes the film on his shoulders all along, and stands tall against all biggies is Irrfan. His dialogues, expressions and simplicity in portraying his character take this movie to whatever high it deserves.
Music: Amongst all the controversies, “Billu Bhayankar” remains the best soundtrack of the album. “Jaaoon Kahan” and “Khudaya Khair” are also melodious. The item numbers are typical Preetam product and look better on screen.