SRK’s Billu (Barber) Movie Review— It’s Boring To Be Dull

mrinkenti2Ok, ladies and gentlemen, the trilogy of The Curse of Katha Parayumbol is now officially complete with Rajnikanth in Kuselan (Tamil), Kathanayuku (Telugu) and Shah Rukh Khan in Billu (Hindi). I believe SRK was offered two choices by Priyadarshan (who a long while back vowed never to indulge in remakes) and SRK choose to take on the Curse through Red Chillies (his (wife’s) production house), but unfortunately Billu is not worth this effort as it is boring and dull.

billuposter12Billu (Irfan Khan) is an honest, sincere guy who is ready to be a loser even if it means he is unable to make ends meet. He doesn’t have money for electricity bills and his kid’s school fee. ‘Modern’ Madan’s modern hair cut salon has taken over Billu’s business. Meanwhile, Sahir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) decides to shoot a part of his inter-galactic twin brother sentiment film in a small village that happens to be where Billu is. We are then taken by surprise (read forced) to believe that Billu and Sahir where chaddi buddies and thus his wife, kids, village folk everybody wants him to introduce them to Sahir Khan. However, Billu is hesistant as he feels Sahir will not remember him and he will be ridiculed. The school’s management (who remove Billu’s kids from school) are now willing to waive their tuition and fees if Billu can get Sahir to attend their school’s function; Billu falters at this too. Eventually, Sahir Khan attends the function and in his speech to kids he begins to reminiscence about this childhood friend Billu who helped and cared for him and saw in him the actor he is today. At one point, the village folk get so frustrated with Billu that they even file a 420 case against Billu for faking to them and now everybody (including the kids who begin to disrespect their father for not getting them introduced to Sahir Khan) is repenting for misunderstanding Billu, The Great. Sahir Khan comes to their house, hugs and promises to come back to go down memory lane. By which time, you’re happy that these boring 16 reels have come to an end.

Conceptually the film is brilliant, which explains why Super Stars themselves have been tempted to remake this film. It talks about childhood, friendship, hardship, how life takes you on divergent journeys etc. However, the problem is when you begin to hijack this concept to make it appear like a Super Star’s Post Card. Sahir’s thread is just plain silly while Billu’s thread is dull. SRK is making a film where twin brothers get separated to different planets and will be eventually brought together by beeping lockets. Shahrukh’s wadrobe looks like desinger space suits and goggles. There are senseless references to his previous film being controversial involving politicians and thus the Z-grade security. Included in this silly thread are references to the Khan-Khan fight and how film industry is a family and that such fights are common, Abhay Kumar’s jumping around, and the silliest of all: Sahir inviting kids to a lunch where every kid’s plate has a tumbler and a bottle of Pepsi next to it! (yes, this is what kids need, a bottle of Pepsi to go with thier daily lunch). The narration is so dull that even the three chart busters with the leading models of Bollywood fail to create an impact. Order of the item songs: Love Mera Hit Hit (Deepika is ultra hot and is the only paisa vasool element of this enterprise), Aa aa oo (Sahir’s entry into the village with clips from his past blockbuster films), Khudaya Khair (Priyanka gets the raw deal with only a couple of minutes as her hip-hop pelvic gyrating number is mixed within the family version of Khudaya Khair), and last is Marjaani (Kareena Kapoor is as usual sickly and it is even more ghastly to watch the camera move close on her thin and lifeless bust n butt).

The story thread that involves Billu and his gang of friends (the usual suspects in a Priyadarshan film, but no Paresh Rawal) just does not deliver. Honestly, there was no scene or sequence thabilluposter2t could make me laugh. The only scene that almost died trying was the one where Mr. Choube is asked to recite a dialouge–about lost brothers, bhagwan, locket etc— in a police inspector get-up. The problem with the film is that the connection between Billu and his Star friend is not convincing and Billu’s characterization is weak. At no point does Sahir Khan think or talk about his friends and out of the blue in the climax we are told by him with tears in his eyes about Billu, The Great. Instead of revolving around the barder, the film revolves around the Star. Shar Rukh Khan is ok, nothing much going on. Irfan Khan delivers a sincere performance. Lara Dutta is unconvincing; the same model who was photographed bathing in a tub for a calender as a poor village lady? Please, make it stop. Pritam’s music saves the film. Technically, it is a well made film. Priyadarshan fails to keep his promise; he said it is not a remake of Kuselan, but it is. Looks like Priyadarshan decided not to use his brain for this film. It is the same treatment and the same narration: unconvincing. I read a couple of other reviews, which suggest that this is a kids film—utter nonsense. There is no fun here for kids, not even the shooting which seems to happen in one take! However, if you do take your kids then they might demand that a bottle of Pepsi be served with ther daily lunch!

What could have been a wonderful film that elevates Shah Rukh Khan’s super star image by taking the audience through a lengendary journey from TV artist to an International Super Star, is totally trashed and reduced to silliness by over exposure and brainless treatment. The narration is so bland that even when you see SRK posters and craze all around in the village you just don’t feel the excitement. Director Priyadarshan and SRK’s extended guest appearence together ensure that Red Chillies Entertainments does not make the hattrick; after giving blockbuster entertainment with Main Hoon Na and Om Shanthi Om, Billu is a total loser.

Mr. Inkenti’s Movienomics Verdict: Thumbs Down! As an aside, the Tamil and Telugu versions were a little less boring. Call for the Remake Regulatory Authority intensifies!



  1. gj said

    hey Mr. Inkenti

    feel sorry for you trying to intelluctalise reviews of third- rate indian movies , your edge is getting blunted. may i suggest , a movie should be worthy of your review. be choosy
    look u said SLum dog is for the foreigners. you couldnt be more wrong.. it has made india proud in the international scene( it got 50 awards abroad).. and it is making the slumdwellers of india proud and lighting hope in their hearts. if all the slum dwellwers get to see the movie , wow, the collections will outdo the barber , the ghazni and what not ,,,
    now thats what im looking forward to

  2. ketan said

    Right on Inkenti! i like the level of details you give in your reviews. they are honest and don’t mince words.

    It is quite apparent that SRK must have insisted upon Priyadarshan to have those item songs and in addition Priyadarshan decided not to use his brains in doing the adaptation.

    I agree with you–the bottle of pepsi with the kids having lunch was really bizzare. the silly sub-plots that take pot-shots at hindi films only work with Farah Khan.

    watch Billu when it comes cable, don’t waste your money on it for the ticket or dvd rent.

  3. gj said

    what s all this rumpus about the name slumdog millionaire .
    do u know who is a millionaire slumdog? ha ha , CEOs who fudge bank statements and FDRs ,,, i hope no one will disagree that that is certainly
    a slumdog

  4. hamim said

    whatever the review says, i’d say this was a good film….but the finishing was haste and made the film vulnerable….priyadarshan is out…his golden time is past

  5. […] production house), but unfortunately Billu is not worth this effort as it is boring and dull. Continue reading… Share and […]

  6. khalid said

    billu barber is soooooooooooooooper dooooooooooooper hit movie

  7. ishan ahuja said

    its aaaaaaaaa veryyyyyyyyyyy good movie , if we compare with ghajini biilu is great …. i luv u srk

  8. fadwa said

    this is film it’s wonderful

  9. Ami said

    The problem with critics is they review a film and write it as if it’s not their personal take but actually is written on behalf of the rest of the general population.

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