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Billa Review

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Some subjects would remain as evergreen. Once a film was made in Hindi with Big B playing the lead in Don. Later the same was remade in Telugu with NTR, and in Tamil with Super Star Rajanikanth. Again the film was made in Tamil with Ajith as Billa and also in Bollywood with Shahrukh Khan as hero. All these films were big hits.

Taking cue from the success of the subject, Rebel Star Krishnamraju, who revived his banner Gopikrishna Movies Pvt Ltd, produced the film with his nephew Prabhas as hero under the direction of Meher Ramesh. Though the production values are good and the direction is okay, the poor body language of Prabhas made the film quite boring.

Billa (Prabhas) is an international crook, who is in the business of weapons and drugs. He is so crooked that he never believes anyone including his own shade. He does what he wants and he is an emperor for himself. The police of several countries are in search of him but no one could catch him. A police officer of ACP rank called Krishnamurthy (Krishnamraju) sets out in search of Billa and lands in Singapore. At this juncture, one of Billa"s close confidant Sekhar (Subbaraju) falls in love with a girl (Hansika) and decides to separate himself from Billa.

However, he could not escape from Billa and gets killed. Later, the girl who loves Sekhar traps Billa with her beauty and informs police about Billa"s stay in a hotel. However, Billa escapes from the police and in his bid to get away from police, that girl too dies in a road accident. Again, an encounter takes place in which Billa dies in the hands of Krishnamurthy. Now Krishnamurthy feels bad for his death as he wants to catch the kingpin behind the smuggling activity, called Sultan.

However, a police informer called Suresh (Ali) tells Krishnamurthy that there is a look alike of Billa in Vizag called Ranga (Prabhas). Krishnamurthy convinces Ranga and plants him as a mole in Billa"s gang. Ranga gathers all the information about the gang and the crimes done by them and stores it in a pen drive and gives it away to Krishnamurthy. After some time, Ranga informs about a meeting in which Sultan is expected to participate. In the shoot out, Krishnamurthy dies and police arrest Ranga. No one listens to him when he pleads with them that he is a police informer and not Billa.

Ranga believes an Interpol officer (Rahman) but unfortunately, he himself turns out to be the Sultan whom Krishnamurthy planned to arrest. In order to bring all the culprits to book, Ranga chalks out a plan and reenters the Billa"s den as Billa by presenting the dead body of Billa as Ranga. After the arms deal completed with another international smuggler, Sultan attempts to kill Billa but Ranga, who is in Billa"s guise teaches a lesson to the gang with the help of police and Sultan gets killed in a police encounter. The film ends on a happy note.

PLUS: The story of the film is a proven subject. The production values of Gopikrishna Movies are good and the film has three glamour dolls like Hansika, Anushka and Namitha. The revealing outfits, the sizzling dances and the glamour of the heroines are the only sources to attract the youth and mass audiences. Performance by Krishnamraju, who appeared in a full length character on the big screen after a long gap is another highlight of the movie. Cinematography by Soundara Rajan is also good especially during chases and in capturing the beauty of the locales abroad.

MINUS: The poor body language of Prabhas is the major minus point for the movie. He remained stiff in the title role Billa. At the same time, he could not tickle the funny bone in the second role as Ranga. He could not deliver the required dose of comedy. Music by Manisharma is another let down. Neither the songs are worth listening nor has attractive choreography despite the presence of glamour dolls as heroines. There are not so great literary values in the songs too. Dialogues penned by the director Meher Ramesh is another let down. The dialogues lacked any punch for any of the characters. Despite high technical and production values and huge budget, the film has failed to expect a hit and it can"t remain a crowd puller in the absence of an able hero.

REMARKS: The director, though employed several top artistes for different characters, could not establish any of them. In a bid to wrap up the film early, he has ignored several important scenes. Especially, the scene, where there is a lot of sentiment between two children and the hero, has an abrupt ending. Even Jayasudha"s character is not established properly. In fact, there is another important character in the original, the father of the orphaned children and there is a lot of drama. All this is ignored by the director. In the name of reworking on the story, the director has missed several important characters and could get back the original flavour to the movie. For those who watched the old films based on this subject with heroes like Amitabh Bachchan, NT Rama Rao, Rajanikanth and Ajith, the film appears a big trash as the story has lost its punch and the poor performance and body language of the hero turned another big drawback.

Cast: Prabhas, Anushka, Hansika, Namitha, Krishnamraju, Rehman, Supreet, Subbaraju, Anil, Aravind, Aditya

Credits: Music – Manisharma, Lyrics – Ramajogaiah Sastry, Bhaskarabhatla, Meher Ramesh, Cinematography – Soundararajan S, Editing – Marthand K Venkatesh, Choreography – Kalyan, Action – Stun Siva, Art – AS Prakash, Presents – Rebel Star Krishnamraju, Story, screenplay, dialogues and direction – Meher Ramesh

Banner: Gopikrishna Movies Pvt Ltd

Released on: April 3, 2009

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