Friends, Indians, desis around the world, lend us your ears:
There’s absolutely no reason to see this piece of crap a.k.a. Billu Barber unless money is burning a hole in your pocket, time hangs too heavily on your hands or you come in your pants at the mere mention of Shahrukh Khan’s name (like the people in the Budbuda village in which this movie is set).
That trash like Billu Barber continues to be made and, worse, released in theatres around the world is a testament to the incredible mediocrity and utter shamelessness pervading Bollywood today.
Directed by a clueless dodo called Priyadarshan, Billu Barber is a silly movie with a cast of buffoons (with the sole exception of Irrfan Khan) making monkeys of themselves and the audience.
The movie centers around the arrival of a superstar Sahir Khan (who else, Shahrukh Khan) on a film shoot to Budbuda village, where a poor barber Billu (Irrfan Khan) is struggling to make ends meet.
Billu, who was the object of ridicule in the village, quickly becomes the pet of everyone once the villagers know that in his younger days he was a close friend of the superstar Sahir Khan.
How the villagers’ expectations of meeting the superstar Sahir Khan causes chaos in Billu’s life forms the gist of this must-miss movie.
Having seen Kuselan, the Tamil predecessor of Billu Barber, we went in with low expectations.
Shahrukh Khan, Priyadarshan, Farah Khan, et al have done their utmost to deliver a crapshow that was far worse than we’d feared. By the way, a version of Billu Barber was first made in Malayalam as Kadha Parayumbol (2007).
In Billu Barber, Shahrukh Khan delivers a mediocre performance unworthy of a superstar who has acted in over five dozen movies. In some movie-within-the-movie scenes, he has a tired look on his face.
Whether in the movie-within-the-movie or in the main movie itself (such as in crucial scenes like the speech at the school or the final meeting with Billu), Shahrukh Khan comes across as no more than a tyro. What a shame.
As for Lara Dutta, who plays Billu’s wife Bindiya, the young lady is completely foreign to the notion of acting. And since when does an Indian village barber’s wife go around wearing a mostly-backless choli.
Ridiculous. Well, if we were to count the ridiculous elements in this junk we’d never get this review completed.
Of the other girls (Deepika Padukone, Kareena Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra) who make brief appearances in the movie via song/dances, Deepika Padukone is easily the worst.
Performing the most graceless dance while shaking her pelvis and wearing a skimpy attire, Deepika defines ugly in the song Love Mera Hit. Kareena comes a close second in the Marjani song/dance.
Like their seniors, the two kids who play Billu’s children are horrible beyond words in the acting department.
As if one clown was not bad enough, in Billu Barber we have two clowns making idiots of themselves and the audience.
Pray, what is the rationale of introducing talented actors like Om Puri and Rajpal Yadav and making them tromp around like chimps in heat.
Irrfan Khan Dazzles
The sole saving grace of Billu Barber is Irrfan Khan, one of the classiest actors in India today.
Whether in the opening scene seeking a loan from a corrupt officer, on the phone with the superstar’s secretary, when the school teachers come home, when Daamchand and his henchmen take the hairdressing paraphernalia back and many, many more scenes, Irrfan Khan repeatedly delights.
Surely, Irrfan Khan is one of the very few in Bollywood to know the meaning of acting.
Eminently forgetable, none of the song-dances have any merit. Nothing more than the usual crap we’ve seen in a gazillion Bollywood movies before (and for sure we’ll see it in a gazillion Bollywood movies in future).
As for the dancing, all we can say is that if chimps were let out of their cages they’d teach these Deepikas, Shahrukhs, Kareenas and the choreographer Farah Khan a lesson or two.
First-time directors like Géla Babluani and Mira Nair make fine movies like 13 Tzameti and Salaam Bombay while clowns like Priyadarshan who have made over 30 movies churn out mediocre films like Billu Barber.
Maybe, it’s time we sent the Priyadarshans of Bollywood to act as gofers (chaiwallahs) on Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle’s movie sets. Perhaps, then these bozos will learn a few tricks from people who know the craft of making movies.
Folks, Billu Barber is an escapable punishment and an avoidable calamity for the paying audience. Unworthy of your precious time or valuable money, hesitate not one moment to give this wretched movie a miss.