x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Soundtrack: Billu Barber

With its cameo from the Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, Billu Barber was one of India's most anticipated film releases this year.

AD200910309481054AR
AD200910309481054AR

With its cameo from the Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, Billu Barber was one of India's most anticipated film releases this year. The soundtrack, however, is disappointing. The film tells the story of a simple barber who has long boasted of a friendship with a film star (Khan), but the trust his wife and neighbours have placed in him is tested when the star comes to town on a film shoot. The barber finds himself having to disappoint those around him, who bombard him with requests for introductions to the actor. The film features a stellar cast that includes Irrfan Khan, and cameos from some of the industry's top actresses. The soundtrack doesn't exactly run parallel to the plot, and, though this is not unusual for Bollywood, the music is a let down. This is particularly true of songs such as Marjaani, which, despite excellent performances from the Punjabi singer Sukhwinder Singh and Sunidhi Chauhan, were aimed squarely at pop music charts. Jaoon Kahan's Where Do I Go and the title track, Billo Bhayankar (Dangerous Billo), stand out. While the former track, sung by the Sufi singer Raahat Fateh Ali Khan, is soft and melancholy, the latter is a fun, folksy track with witty, contemporary lyrics that are inspired by Bhojpuri folk songs. Of the 15 tracks, seven are originals and the rest are staid remixed versions, which undermines the talent that Pritam, the music director, usually brings with him.