In a flash move to appease the hairdressers' associations of Mumbai, the premiere of Billu in Mumbai later this week will exclusively invite members of various barbers' and hairstylists' associations.
Priyadarshan reveals Billu's premiere plans. "As far as I know, Shahrukh is planning a premiere for the various barbers and hairdressers' associations, so they'd see and know that the film doesn't ridicule them in any way. In fact Billu is homage to the hair-cutting technique. I can't understand how there can be a protest about the film or its title without anyone seeing the film."
The premiere, according to Priyan, won't invite Shahrukh's friends from the industry, only members of the hair-cutting community. Priyadarshan wonders how the word 'Barber' could be okay in other languages and not in Hindi. "Does it mean half the Indian population is not put off by the title and the other half is upset about it? I don't understand the controversy. And I've left it entirely to my producer Shahrukh Khan to deal with it."
Priyan has no plans of being in Mumbai for the release of Billu. "I've done my best. And Irrfan Khan in the title role is the best homage that can be paid to any profession." Priyan does wonder, and so do we, if we as a collective nation protest too much.
It's final. Billu Barber will now be called Billu. And the director Priyadarshan seems resigned to the title's fate. "I'm in Chennai. Mr. Producer Shahrukh tells me all the posters hoarding with credits will blacken out the word 'Barber'. If it was hurting anyone's sentiments I'm okay by it."