Tuesday, 21 July 2009
When I first heard of this movie, it conjured up visions of a ‘B’ grade movie – a low cost production with new actors wanting to break into the Bollywood market. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that it was actually a movie with two of my favourite actors, Shahrukh Khan and Irfan Khan, in the leads. I started appreciating Irfan Khan when I saw him in ‘The Warrior’. For me, for an actor to be able to reach his audience with not much dialogue in a movie is no mean feat and one that Irfan carried out to perfection in ‘The Warrior’. He was brilliant! I totally recommend you watch the movie if you can. Okay, I am transgressing here, I know…..we are talking about ‘Billu Barber’ today, not ‘The Warrior’.
Anyway, in this movie, the main character Billu (Irfan Khan) is a poor barber who lives with his beautiful wife Bindiya (Lara Dutta, Miss Universe 2000) and their two children, Gunja (Mitali Mayakar) and Ronak (Pratik Dalvi) in the village of Budbuda. Though struggling, Billu lives a simple and uneventful life until Bollywood superstar Sahir Khan (Shahrukh Khan) comes to the village for a film shoot.
Billu has mentioned to his family, years ago, that he knew Sahir from his youth but has never elaborated on the fact. However, his children start telling their friends about their father's friendship with the famous star which then spreads throughout the village, the story taking different forms with each relay. Virtually overnight, Billu who had previously been scorned by most of the villagers for his impoverished state, becomes the center of attention. People, who had previously spurned him, now call him a close friend so that he will introduce them to Sahir. They bring him gifts as bribery. Billu refuses and downplays the friendship, saying that it is impossible for him to introduce people in the village to Sahir. When Billu consistently fails to introduce the people of the village to Sahir, his situation changes once again. Not only is he spurned but is now accused of lying about his friendship and of conning the villagers. Everyone - including his wife and children, begin to doubt his character and integrity.
So, does Billu really know the great Sahir Khan and if so, how? But why doesn’t he approach Sahir? Or are the villagers and his family right….that he is lying about his friendship? Watch Billu Barber to find out.
Not only is this a great movie, it also boasts some great songs. My favourites are the first three songs.
Love Mera Hit Hit
You Get Me Rockin
Ae Aa O
Billu Barber Facts:
Despite its great reviews, Billu Barber was rated by ‘Box Office India’ a box office "flop" in its third week.
The movie was renamed to ‘Billu’ in India because of protest from the hairdressing industry. They claimed that the term ‘barber’ is derogatory to their profession….go figure!!!
The movie was directed by Priyadarshan and produced by Gauri Khan (Shahrukh Khan’s wife).
Actresses Kareena Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra make guest appearances in the item numbers (a term commonly used in Bollywood movies to describe a catchy, upbeat dance sequence in a movie that has no relevance to the plot of the film). The film was released on 13 February 2009.
The movie is a remake of the 2007 Malayalam (a south Indian dialect) film, ‘Kadha Parayumbol’. It is also an adaptation of the Sudama and Krishna story as mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana (Hindu text).
VG’s Rating: 4 stars for both the Movie and Songs.