Saturday, December 12, 2009

Billu Barber --- alternate endings

Irfan Khan plays Billu, a poor barber who lives an uneventful life with his wife and two children in some north Indian village until Bollywood superstar Sahir Khan --- Shahrukh Khan --- comes to the village to shoot a film. Billu had mentioned to his family that he knows Sahir. When his children talk about their father's friendship with the star, word spreads throughout the village. Virtually overnight, Billu becomes the center of attention, and everyone wants him to introduce them to Sahir. While Billu refuses and downplays the friendship, the villagers persist, until they accuse him of lying about his friendship. Even his family begin to doubt his character and integrity, but Billu remains quiet about the nature of his friendship with Sahir.

So, how does this pickle end?

If this was Satyajit Ray classic, the truth would have become known in such a fashion that only Billu's family would have found out about it. And their reaction to the truth would have been noted in a few glances, with hardly a word uttered.

If this was a great Bollywood movie, the movie would have ended with Sahir Khan's speech at the local school, when the truth is revealed. The last scene would have been Billu leaving the school, with the villagers' reactions left to the audience's imagination.

If this was a good Bollywood movie, it would have ended with Billu's children apologising to the father.

But this otherwise interesting movie had a typically terrible Bollywood ending where Sahir and Billu are reunited.