Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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as Billo Barber
as The Movie Star
as Billo's Wife
as Damodar Dubey
as Nobat Chacha
as Billu's Daughter
as Billu's Son
as Jhalan Kumar
as Mrs. Gahalot
Critic Reviews for Billu
Bollywood comedy about an unlikely friendship is full of unexpected pleasures.
It is dedicated to the proposition that god-like celebrities are ordinary folks at heart. Groans all around.
Audience Reviews for Billu
This is sort of fun, if you like Shahrukh. It is not brilliant, though Irfan's performance as Billu is wonderful. There just is not enough plot here for the movie to be great.
One of the best parts about my 2009 Film Review project is getting to see movies that I would normally not see for fear that they would not interest me or that they would bore me to tears. So far there has only been one movie that has really bored me and that was Friday the 13th. There have been other movies I didn’t like, but I was not really bored. I was not expecting much from Billu. I unfairly judged it because it was a Hindi or a Bollywood film. I have this preconceived notion that Bollywood films are subpar. To be perfectly honest, it is not fair of me to judge them since I have never really seen any Bollywood movies. It is mostly my own experience with Puerto Rican cinema that has made me judge foreign films. I’ve seen some terrible Puerto Rican movies and TV shows and I assume that anything that is produced outside of the States is going to have that same poor quality. I really need to rethink that, because it isn’t true at all. I loved this film. Billu was really funny and I enjoyed every minute of it. I had to watch it a couple of times because I had trouble reading the subtitles. I am a slow reader and in combination with how fast the actors spoke, the subtitles were on the screen for a fraction of a second at times. However, after a good night’s rest, I watched the movie a second time a bit more carefully and I was able to follow along a bit better. Billu is a simple story. It is about a barber in India who is struggling to pay his bills. The movie starts out with him writing a letter to a loan officer begging him to lend him some money so that he can make some upgrades to his shop. He explains that he has a barber chair that is really old and is falling apart. He goes on to describe a lot more items in his shop that need replacing. However, Billu doesn’t get his loan so he is forced to deal with his current situation, but things are about to change for him. The village where Billu lives has been chosen for a Bollywood film project. So naturally the entire village goes nuts, everyone is so excited that their village will be featured in a movie, especially when their favorite Bollywood star, Sahir Khan, will be the hero in the movie. The whole village bends over backwards to make sure that Sahir is comfortable. They wanted him to have a good experience in their village. Of course everyone wants to meet Sahir in person and they will stop at nothing to try to get to meet him, however, no one can. After all he is a movie star and security is really tight around him. However, Billu tells his kids that he knows Sahir from when he was young. The next day, the kids tell their friends, who tell their parents and within hours everyone in the village is aware that Billu knows Sahir. From that point on, Billu becomes a local celebrity himself. His business picks up, people buy him a new chair and new equipment; he is treated like royalty. However, everyone just wanted one thing. They all want the chance to meet Sahir. They thought if they are nice to Billu, he would make their dreams of meeting Sahir come true. Nevertheless, it had been a long time ago since he last talked to Sahir and he didn’t even know if he would remember him. Despite his refusals, people encouraged him to at least try and contact him, but every attempt of his to talk to him failed and slowly people started to get frustrated with him. Eventually, they even labeled him as a liar. The movie is beautifully shot. The entire opening sequences were stunning. I am sure that they must have film awards in India; this movie deserves a cinematography award based just on that opening scene alone. It is also very, very funny and the characters were very lovable. The story is a little hokey, but still within acceptable parameters for a comedy. As with any Bollywood film there are a number of dance sequences in the film. I have nothing to compare it to, but I loved what I saw. The music was very fun to listen to and the choreography was visually stimulating. If you are looking to watch something fun and different, you will not be disappointed with Billu.
A little better than average Bollywood...complete with the constant strangely placed, singing and dancing videos. Nice story, though.
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