Ajith Kumar’s Billa II has opened to bad reviews.
Besides the poor reviews, the movie’s producers also have to reckon with a dull box office response at some theaters in the U.S.
The opening show of Billa II at a theater in Chicago evoked a tepid response. The theater was about 25% full, which by the standards of Ajith’s openings is a huge disaster.
Given the harsh reviews and presumably poor word of mouth, it’s going to be hard for Billa II to draw in the crowds unless the producers/distributors resort to some gimmickry like they did with Rajinikanth’s Kuselan a few years back.
Directed by Chakri Toleti, the film is a prequel to the much rehashed Billa/Don gangster films.
Here are excerpts from a few critical reviews for Billa II:
Apart from a few stale gimmicks borrowed from a bunch of Hollywood films — nothing really happens in this film at all. It is a miscalculation on the part of both the film’s writer and director Chakri Toleti who has to take the blame for it….every frame of the film probably cost lakhs to put together, but it still feels like a hollow piece in the end because the story doesn’t hold. The film has no soul, not even a wafer thin story or any smart packaging in terms of commercial elements associated with a big hero film.
Billa 2 will please hardcore action fans and Ajith fans in particular. The emotional connect goes down thanks to a laborious second half. But, the idea of making a prequel and the grand scale of the movie make sure that the movie isn’t a tiresome experience either. Given the expectations, somehow you feel that the end product hasn’t been delivered.
A few people trickled in and the movie started with probably 25% of the seats occupied – which is a big disaster compared to the large crowds I witnessed on the first day of Mankatha, Ajith’s last film….the weak story, lack of credible performances and hare-brained execution resulted in considerable hair-loss and grief to the poor, hapless audience who were suckered in by an above average trailer. The problems with Billa II are aplenty….A movie like Billa II which purports to show the rise of a criminal should have some emotional quotient and character building. In the absence of a coherent story, the Billa character finds no sympathy / connection with the audience….The sub-plot of Billa’s sister and her daughter Jasmine (Omanakuttan) has absolutely no value except to extend the movie run time…..Ajith gives his usual performance which requires a lot of camera work to make it seem as if he is emoting.
Chakri Toleti’s screenplay turns the hero into the formulaic figure of the ’60s, where he’s a demi-god and pretty much no one can touch him. The only difference is that here, Billa is supposedly a villain.
Billa 2 is stylishly shot, and Ajith carries the film on his shoulders, but that’s all there is to it. When it comes to screenplay, logical plots and characterisation, it fails to meet expectations.