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Home > Movies > Reviews

Billa disappoints

TSV Hari | December 14, 2007 17:54 IST

To remake a hit film in another language is always tricky. Amitabh Bachchan [Images] and Shah Rukh Khan [Images] tasted success with their respective versions of Don. Rajnikanth's [Images] Tamil remake of the film, Billa (1980), was also a huge hit.

So Ajith's Billa should have followed the same path. But then, in showbiz, two plus two does not make four.

Director Vishnuvardhan seems to have been in a dilemma as to whether to focus on Ajith or give the film well-etched characters. There are too many diversions in the form of female cleavages in the rain forests of Malaysia and garish sets.

Special: Showcasing Billa 

So the megaphone wielder snipped off some of the supporting characters -- especially the trapeze artiste-cum-safe-breaker (played by Pran, 'Thengai' Srinivasan and Arjun Rampal [Images] in the earlier three versions) -- substituted a pen-drive in the place of a red-coloured diary and expected Ajith to bear the entire burden of carrying Billa on his shoulders.

To expect the slightly pot-bellied Ajith to work a miracle which even Rajnikanth wasn't expected to do is probably asking for too much.

The story begins with a sadistic underworld don Billa (Ajith) being killed in a police chase. An officer Jai Prakash (Prabhu, wasted) substitutes a look alike wastrel Velu (Ajith again) in his place to net the whole gang, whose boss masquerades as an Interpol agent (Rahuman, average). An avenging belle (Nayantara [Images], adequate) and an itinerant cop help in nailing the baddies...

Yuvan Shankar Raja's tunes and music are pulsating -- especially the pan-song and the praise for Lord Murugan (filmed excellently around the Batu Caves near Kuala Lumpur).

Ajith has tried his best under the circumstances -- in the absence of other props -- purely with the help of motorcar chases and fisticuffs.

The audience expects one last twist to the tale as the villain is shot down but it doesn't come.

Rediff Rating:

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