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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some good music and dance numbers. One for SRK fans
This is a movie about a poor village barber (Irrfan Khan) who had mentioned in passing once that he used to be a friend of the biggest Bollywood star (Shahrukh Khan playing a character close to himself). The star comes to the village to film for a movie. Everyone pushes the barber to meet his old friend but the barber keeps avoiding this. Is it because he's ashamed of his...
Published on April 17, 2009 by Lyn

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst BD PQ ever
This is an upconverted SD on blu ray. Buyers beware. Do not buy.
Published on September 27, 2009 by Kailash Upadhyaya


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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some good music and dance numbers. One for SRK fans, April 17, 2009
By 
This review is from: Billu Barber (DVD)
This is a movie about a poor village barber (Irrfan Khan) who had mentioned in passing once that he used to be a friend of the biggest Bollywood star (Shahrukh Khan playing a character close to himself). The star comes to the village to film for a movie. Everyone pushes the barber to meet his old friend but the barber keeps avoiding this. Is it because he's ashamed of his poverty or thinks a famous man wont remember him? Or did he ever know him and perhaps made it all up?
The movie's focus is on the barber so while SRK is woven throughout the movie he is very much secondary to the barbers story, and how 'ordinary people' react in various ways to celebrity.
Irrfan does a good job but his wife (Lara Dutta) didn't look that 'villagey' (more like a Bollywood lady dressed as a poor woman).
SRK plays the star appropriately well. He has charisma that is tangible whenever he is on screen. The best parts of the movie for me were the very showy song and dance numbers (done as scenes from the movie being shot). SRK partners with Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in separate big numbers.
If something slipped it from higher potential it was a slowness and repetitiveness at times with people trying to persuade the barber to contact his friend and him dodging that. Another biggie was a speech SRK gives at the end that went on and on to spin into greater absurdity (even for Bollywood).
However the movie's heart is in the right place. It is an entertainer, SRK I find always watchable even when he reaches for some excesses (driven by the script more this time) and the music and dances alone were enough to keep this movie.
Elsewhere on the Net it tends to average around 6-7 out of 10. For me its also a little above average for the dance and music.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst BD PQ ever, September 27, 2009
This is an upconverted SD on blu ray. Buyers beware. Do not buy.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Simple Story Beautifully Told, June 11, 2009
By 
Philip WM Wong (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Billu Barber (DVD)
How many Chinese Malaysians would give an Indian produced Hindi movie 5 stars? This speaks strongly for one of the best movies I've seen in a long time - in any language. This goes far beyond your typical Bollywood masala to serve up a really touching story about dignity and friendship. Irrfan Khan is a class act and Shah Rukh Khan pokes fun at his screen persona, with some great in-jokes to keep Bollyphiles - and this viewer - very happy and impressed. A real must-see.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting and warm family movie, July 12, 2009
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This review is from: Billu Barber (DVD)
This is a simple, highly entertaining, family oriented movie. The plot revolves around the concepts of friendship and life priorities based on values. The song Khudaya Khair is particularly captivating and can be downloaded from Amazon.com Billu Barber (2008) CD. It is impossible to get tired from listening to this beautiful song. This was the second Bollywood movie I ever watched, and its beauty stuck to my mind. Irrfan Khan as Billu steals the show. Lara Dutta fits well the role of a gorgeous and at the same time humble and kind wife. The last scene is obviously sentimental but effective. I do not believe in writing spoilers in reviews, although this certainly is not a movie for those who expect big surprises. Beauty and simplicity in life can go together very well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray, movie has good parts, October 21, 2010
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Blu-ray version - The main characters are enjoyable, but most of the movie in general is just average.

The early part of the movie has a very contemporary/futuristic dance scene (seems out of place, but they explain it) with lots of young ladies in a variety of cool/skimpy outfits (average music).

The dance/music skit with Kareena Kapoor is GREAT (in the middle of the movie, it's the only scene that she is in). And the last 15 minutes of the movie are enjoyable (good ending).

The blu-ray version is definitely an improvement over the DVD quality (but the DVD looks good in most places). The other reviewer might be right that the overall PQ of this Blu-ray is not up to normal blu-ray specs (hard for me to be sure, I'm using a 2005 big-screen DLP TV).

The DVD is dual-layer with the same bonus material as the blu-ray ("making of" & deleted scenes), same 16x9 anamorphic aspect ratio, but the Blu-ray has the DTS audio option and is sharper.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Billu Barber, October 26, 2011
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Shahrukh Khan is of course the main attraction for me in this movie, but the man who played Billu was very good and funny to watch. I loved the music and dancing. Lots of humor in this film. Hindi films are full of every kind of emotion. How can one movie make you laugh and cry at the same time? Hindi movies are my favorite to watch. I miss seeing musicals in U.S. films, and I have to go to Hindi movies to find what I want. Nice entertainment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching "Little Man" Movie Saved By Irrfan Khan's Title Performance, June 3, 2011
This review is from: Billu Barber (DVD)
A movie like BILLU BARBER belongs to a genre older than movies themselves - about the "Little Man" pushed around by everybody, who suddenly becomes important due to a possible misunderstanding which escalates out of control. The specifics this time are "small-town barber without the funds to compete with his hotshot competitor", "major movie star shooting a movie nearby", "his wife claims Billu knows the movie star (Shahrukh Khan, playing a variant version of himself)". It would be easy to imagine this film made in the Forties or Fifties starring Danny Kaye or Mickey Rooney, wringing every drop of pathos out of the Little Man's temporary rise and inevitable fall before the equally inevitable Happy Ending - fortunately, this film has Irrfan Khan (IN TREATMENT, A MIGHTY HEART, DARJEELING LIMITED), whose wry and proud performance of a man unwilling to trade on a possible friendship no matter how beaten down he is dries out the treacle and makes the film worth watching.

As is usual for Bollywood movies, there are a number of enjoyably elaborate song&dance numbers - mostly for the film Shahrukh Khan is shooting nearby. The movie divides itself between Billu's predicament and Shahrukh's dealing with the locals, all who want something from The Great Man - which he deals with graciously if a bit sardonically. By the end when the two strands converge during a speech Shahrukh delivers at Billu's children's school, the tearjerking feels earned for once thanks to the performances of the two leads.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth Watching, March 20, 2010
By 
This review is from: Billu Barber (DVD)
'Billu' is a commentary on fame, brought to you by the most famous movie star in the world, Shahrukh Khan. The actor essentially plays himself--a mega-wattage celebrity--whose name is Sahir Khan. Sahir is supposedly the long-lost friend of a humble village barber named Billu, played by character actor par excellence Irrfan Khan. Billu's business is failing because a fancy new hair salon across the street has taken all his customers, who don't want to frequent his dilapidated shop, which he can't afford to fix up, and his young son and daughter are going to get kicked out of school if he doesn't come up with the tuition he's behind on paying. Sahir shoots some scenes for his upcoming movie in Billu's village, rumors spread that Billu knows Sahir, and suddenly Billu becomes a local celebrity, which he reluctantly accepts since his business picks up and his wife (played by Lara Dutta) can hold her head high again. The problem is he can't get past Sahir's security to meet him, and the villagers, including his family, start to doubt if even he knows the star--and they turn on him. Such is the tenuous nature of fame. There's an intentionally sharp contrast between Billu's simple, authentic world and Sahir's glitzy, artificial one, but the contrast is so sharp that it's jarring, and it's exacerbated by the disorienting item numbers.

Some critics of Bollywood (usually Western) mistakenly believe that item numbers (as suggestive dance scenes are called in Bollywood) are superfluous, when in fact they're integral to the movie, but not in the manner that Westerners are used to seeing in Broadway-style musicals. Like nearly all Bollywood musical numbers, item numbers exist not to advance the plot but to express emotion--in this case, bawdy desire. They're a sexy element in films that otherwise don't depict any sex. The lead dancer, called an "item girl," usually doesn't appear in the film otherwise. (Thankfully, we're starting to see more "item boys" these days as well.) That way, the audience can indulge in a little fantasy without thinking less of the heroine (or hero) for being so overtly sexual. The problem with Billu is that the item numbers truly are superfluous because they're item numbers for another film--the film Sahir is making within the film. Therefore, they're confusing interruptions from the story. Which is too bad because at face value, they're examples of spectacular Bollywood item numbers at their best--and loaded with star power no less, with actresses Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor appearing as item girls.

- The Bollywood Ticket: The American guide to Indian movies (Subscribe: The Bollywood Ticket)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love the movie!, May 31, 2014
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Irrfan Khan + SRK is a brilliant combination! Enjoyed every moment of the movie! I wish every star was like Sahir Khan. Lara Dutta unrecognizable (at least I didn't recognize her) in a village woman role.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of my favorite Bollywood movies, May 21, 2014
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This review is from: Billu Barber (DVD)
This is a very warm and heartfelt movie that I would watch over and over again. The performances are excellent and the story telling is exactly what I have come to love about Bollywood. Traditional song, dancing, just a fabulous movie, and great subtitles for us who are Hindu language impaired.
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Billu Barber
Billu Barber by Priyadarshan (DVD - 2009)
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