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Billa Movie review
The review, first anywhere in the world!
It is not difficult to catch the 'coooool'ness of Billa in brief... it is impossible!
Yes, Vishnu Vardhan’s Billa (which premiered in a few select cinema halls in Chennai today), releasing tomorrow, proved that it is not just another remake of an old cult film, but magical and a visual treat with its own style and individuality.
Vishnu’s style-mantra project starts with a bang and ends in an explosion, that’s how punch-packed it is. “Part tribute, part original, all slick” is a good description of this movie in which everyone (not just the hero!) looks and sounds simply smashing, with their clipped dialogues, power-dressing and loads of attitude. Plus, Vishnu has ensured that the movie stays within the 2 hour-15 minute time frame, a proof of the tight script and screenplay.
Does Billa actually need a story introduction? Proving wrong all the noise that Vishnu’s Billa is exactly like Shah Rukh Khan’s Don, the movie is INDEED like the Rajinikanth “original”... but with twists and a look and feel completely unique and probably the starkest ever made in Tamil cinema. Quite unlike SRK’s Don, the colours in Billa are not rich and opulent – they are clean, suppressed, contemporary, even Zen at times. There is a lot of black, brown and olive hues, set in contrast to great swathes of white and cream. In such starkness, Ajith as Billa, comes forth larger than life and more stylish than any movie he has done in a long time.
Speaking of Ajith, he is quite clearly the very centre of the movie; or as our December issue of Galatta Cinema magazine shows, he is the eye of the storm that tosses you about for 2+ hours. He looks handsome, hot and very much a “Thala”. While SRK had a metrosexual, clean-shaven look, Ajith sports a devil-may-care and raw-edged stubble that only adds to the masculinity. Plus, his personality is dark, cold and silent as Billa; in complete contrast to the cheeky Velu.
With Billa, the female is as deadly, if not deadlier, than the male. Namitha plays CJ, the gangster’s moll, but with a toughness and shrewdness worthy of any top boss. She is sexy, unabashed, fearless and perhaps even as ruthless as Billa himself. And she loves him to death. Literally.
Nayantara is the one out to tame the beast, consumed by the need for revenge. She is an electric mix of sexy and tough, beauty and fighting skill.
Prabhu is inimitably Prabhu. His authority and intelligence reminds one of Gautam Vishwanath of Mani Ratnam’s Agninakshatram. Rahman plays the Interpol officer with some deadly tricks up his sleeve and Rose Dawn plays the woman who quite possibly, has put all these people together.
David Billa (Ajith). Most-wanted gangster, hiding and operating out of Malaysia, on the top of Interpol’s criminal list. A lone tiger he is, and a ruthless one at that. As he says, “Look at history. If you want to live, to survive, you can kill any number of people, for any reason.” This is Billa – scheming, clever, slippery, enigmatic and dangerous. No one knows his story, really, except that he literally clawed his way to where he is now, from an orphaned and deprived childhood to the top of the food chain. Along the way, he bent and broke every rule for not just survival, but for money, power and love of the game.
DSP Jayprakash (Prabhu) has spent a huge chunk of the last few years looking for the elusive Billa. He has left a life behind in India, only to base himself in Malaysia and strategise the capture of the man who has 50 high-profile crime cases slapped against him. As luck would have it, his path does cross Billa’s and from then on, it’s a rollercoaster ride. What happens to Billa? Who is Velu? How does Jayprakash use him to round up Billa’s operations? DOES he actually close Billa’s shop for good? How