Billa - Prabahas as "Billa" packs a punch
Release date: 03 April 2009
123Telugu.com Rating: 3/5
Director : Meher Ramesh
Music Director : Mani Sharma
Producer : Prabhod and Narendra
Starring : Prabhas, Krishnam Raju, Anushka, Namitha ...
Related Links: First day first show , Videos , Photos , Audio Launch

Amitabh’s Don was remade in Telugu as Yugandher *ing NTR and twenty five odd years later Shah Rukh took a shot at it and failed miserably. Now it is the turn of Prabhas to star in the remake of Shahrukh’s Don (as Billa) in Telugu.

What is it about : The story of a notorious criminal hunted by a dogged cop, who then goes on to replace the criminal with a look-alike and thereby infiltrate and bust the bad guys is a cinematic thread that has woven many box office success stories. Billa (Prabhas) is a Malaysia-based international gangster who is pursued by ACP Krishnamurthy (a badly cast Krishnam Raju). Mid-way through the 1st half, Krishnam Raju shoots down Billa and installs a look-alike, Ranga (Prabhas in a dual role) in his place. The rest of the story is about how Ranga manages to bust the gang and win his love. In between director Ramesh has interwoven a love story with Maya (Anushka) and Ranga. The Maya character was played by Priyanka Chopra in Farah & Shah Rukh’s Don. Anushka though svelte is no match for the mercurial Priyanka. But she manages to hold her own. Prabhas as Billa struts like a model on a ramp in the 1st half of the movie. However as Ranga he shines as an actor and (barely) saves the movie

What is Good: Prabhas is Tollywood’s Hrithik. Tall and rugged he has a magnificent physique the likes of which we haven’t seen in any Tollywood hero. As Ranga he is effortless. His scenes with Anushka are edgy and funny. And his fights pack a definite punch. The title song Billa and Bommali are the only saving graces in the music department. The fights by Stun Siva are realistically executed. Meher Ramesh, the director, gathers some momentum in the second half and manages to finish off the movie well. Prabhas’s gun sequences remind us a lot of Nicholas Cage in Face off. Anushka as the revenge seeking moll is wasted, but post Arundhati she has developed enough understanding of cinema to hold her own even in a below average role.

What is bad:Krishnam Raju as the ACP is an awful waste and tests the viewer’s patience. Namitha (as Billa’s girl friend) is an eye sore and Hansika is gone before you even settle down in the movie. Kelly Dorjee continues to harass unsuspecting audiences with his Telugu pronunciation. And the “can can” dialogue evokes sarcastic laughter from the audience. The 1st half is slow simply because the story moves randomly. Mani Sharma’s music is a disappointment as is the script. Director Meher Ramesh’s characterization of Billa is all style and no substance.

Me Thinks:Watch it if you are a Prabhas fan. If you can sit through the first half you will be rewarded for your patience in the second half.

Tailpiece: It was really sad to watch the audience laugh at Krishnam Raju’s serious dialogues. Clearly Krishnma Raju has not kept up with the pace of today’s cinema. In mind and body he seems to be lost in a time warp.

- Pramod Reddy   
123Telugu.com Rating : 3/5

Legend:    5 - Flawless
                4 - Must Watch
                3 - One Time Watch
                2 - Wait for the DVD
                1 - Stay Away
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