Rating: 3.5/5 (Ajith all the way)
Directed by Vishnuvardhan and starring Ajith Kumar in the lead, Billa is a remake of the iconic film starring Rajinikanth in Tamil and of course Amitabh Bachchan in Hindi. How does the modern day remake fare? Find out in my review.
Story: Billa (Ajith Kumar) is the most wanted and dreaded mafia don in Malayasia. He is wanted by almost every intelligence agency across the globe. DSP Jayaprakash (Prabhu) is constantly looking for ways to nab him but feels there's more than meets meet the eye to Billa. One night, Billa suddenly meets with an accident and he is found by Jayaprakash. Left with no choice, Jayaprakash finds out he has a look alike Saravana Velu (Ajith again) and recruits him for a mission. What actually happened to Billa that night? How do Nayanthara and Namitha play into the plot? And what is the big conspiracy behind the disappearance of Billa? Watch the film to find out.
Performances: It's Thala Ajith all the way. He is the definition of style as David Billa and carries the film on his shoulders. He is equally entertaining as Velu and showcases great comic timing. If you're gonna watch Billa, then Ajith is gonna be the reason 100%.
Nayanthara sizzles in a bikini and puts in a fine performance as usual. Namitha is way too fat and needs to reduce her weight.
Rehman as the villain is good and Prabhu and Aditya Menon as the honest police officers are good as well. Santhanam entertains as Krishna and provides some good laughs.
Technicalities: Billa at the time was probably the most stylish and slick film to come out of Kollywood at the time. Music and BGM by Yuvan Shankar Raja is excellent. Cinematography by Nirav Shah is fabulous. He has effectively captured the ambiance and rich visuals of Malayasia in a stunning way. Art is fine. Editing by A. Sreekar Prasad is fine as you never really feel bored during the movie. Dialogues by Rajkannan are good. Direction by Vishnuvardhan is excellent and top notch.
Analysis: If you've seen Don or Billa, then you know the story. But if you've never watched any of the versions before, then this film will be a great experience for you. The suspense that's revealed in the last 20 minytes of the film is very good and the climax is entertaining.
The 1st half starts off right away establishing Ajith's character David Billa and how ruthless he can be. He gets the hottest girls in town, kills who ever he wants, and runs Malaysia from the bottom up. What more could you want in life? The twist at the end of Billa's character is good and the film then runs in comedy mode with Velu's character. The interval bang is good and the 2nd half is nice with action sequences placed all over so you never feel bored. Credit has to go to Vishnuvardhan for amking such a stylish and entertaining film that has an equally gripping narrative. Ajith's performance is the icing on the cake.
Overall, Billa is Ajith's one man show supported by Vishnuvardhan's flawless direction and taking. Watch this one, for you may not watch a film so technically sound throughout for a long time.