Billu review or how sometimes I like Shahrukh’s flops better than his hits


Billu (2009, India)

Seen: Thursday, 31st December 2009
Runtime: 137′
Director: Priyadarshan
Cast: Irrfan Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Lara Dutta, Om Puri, Kareena Kapoor (cameo), Deepika Padukone (cameo), Priyanka Chopra (cameo)
Production House: Eros Entertainment, Red Chillies Entertainment
Plot: Billu is a barber living below the poverty line. When a film crew comes to shoot in his village, gossip starts that Billu is an old friend of Sahir Khan - the superstar starring in the movie. Billu’s life changes dramatically. But does Sahir Khan remember Billu? And did Billu even know Sahir Khan in the first place?


Impressions In Short
I’m surprised this was a flop actually… I really enjoyed it. I thought this was much better than Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (a big hit that I totally slammed).

More About the Film
Something that struck me about this film is that it went against all the stereotypes of what superstars are supposed to be like. The standard way to portray a superstar is as a stuck up, spoilt brat. In Billu the characters make all kinds of assumptions about what Sahir Khan is like (both good and bad). But in fact the little that we see of Sahir, as he tries to navigate the whole hysteria around him, is that he’s just a regular guy. For the most part he is good-natured and tries not to give people trouble. On occasion he lets off steam by making sarcastic remarks behind people’s backs.
Billu is a great lead character - I loved his wit, so much irony *grin* Irrfan Khan was really good at it. And it was very nice to have a Bollywood hero, who is in many ways so ordinary. Usually, you’d have a flashy character like the superstar as the leading man and Billu would be the supporting character. But in this film Shahrukh was very clearly playing second fiddle and I have to say - I liked that ;) It was nice to have his superstar screen presence in all its glory and yet not have him take over the film.
The chemistry between Irrfan Khan and Shahrukh Khan was awesome *grin* They don’t have much screen time together, but when they do - it’s fireworks ;) I thought that was the best part of the movie - they both really raised their game when they were together. I’d love to see them sharing the screen again sometime.
Lara Dutta was really good as Billu’s wife. It’s a very different (much less glamourous) part compared to what I’ve seen of her before and she worked really well like this.
The disappointing part of the film is that when it comes to its visual design and the general look of it, it seemed to be stuck in the 90s. If it had had the modern “exteriors” of some of the current Bollywood films I think it would have been a much more impressive film. It’s still a very sweet one though.

Definitely yes for fans of any of the cast - they all do pretty well :) Probably yes for fans of Bollywood in general. Otherwise maybe not, I’m not sure really. It’s a very sweet film and if you don’t need the “exterior” parts of it to be really polished then I guess you might enjoy it.

Leave a comment