July 13, 2012 Y. Sunita Chowdary
It is relatively easy to make a sequel but to create a foundation of a character after the second part of the story has been released is quite a task. Chakri Toleti does a good job of David Billa and by the end of the film does arouse the curiosity to wonder what could have happened to Billa later on.
The story begins with David Billa scathing, charring and stabbing people in their throats and declaring that he has charted and moulded each moment and day to suit his plans, and the same scene is repeated in the end as he accomplishes his work. His accomplice asks him if he had finished his work and he retorts that it has just begun.
Now what kind of man is David Billa? He isn't the style, suave person you saw in the sequel enjoying the fruits of his labour, he is rugged, fatigued, hardly smiles and the little jig he does in the pub is also artificial, it doesn't suit him. There is a silent resolve within him which he calls it hunger.
David Billa (Ajith) is a refugee who arrives with the others from Sri Lanka and is yet to meet his sister (Janaki Sabesh) and his niece Jasmine (Parvathy Omanakuttan). He is given some employment of ferrying fishes to a spot and as he realises there is a future carved out in the assignment his goal gets nearer.
First it is smuggling diamonds, drugs and then arms, name it and Billa takes the risk opting for a share he deserves, the bigger the work, the mammoth his percentage demand.
How does audience fall for a negative character? His rise is not meteoric, it is step by step and believes in the future and the director makes him believable, as he falls and fails the audience empathises with him. Social work? Yes. He donates and remarks that everyone has to work hard to earn money, it doesn't come easy and also he follows a rule and there are methods in his illegal activities.
He explains to politicians that gangsters are imperative for them to do their dirty job and while he plays with his life for everyone there comes a moment when he says enough is enough, it's time to build one's own business. There are not many dialogues or too much melodrama, every action is minimalistic and that is why the violence doesn't appear crude even if people are being stabbed.
There are some dialogues that are apt and suit the situation to the hilt, "You don't need to have the pre-requisites to be my friend but to be my enemy, you definitely need," he also makes an opponent repent for not having trusted him and placing faith in others. Billa's character is not pushy, it develops along with his encounters with his dealers.
There are some loopholes as well, the director focused on his character alone, the relationship with his niece and sister is dealt in a clinical fashion; he infact shows more fervour and is genuine when it came to his companion who stuck with him till the last. Parvathy has an envious height, is tall and attractive but she make a mockery of her role by uttering 'mavaiyya' like a little girl.
A woman who can handle her handicapped mother all her life can easily handle her relationship with her uncle equally well, sleeping like a baby on his lap in a flimsy costume and seeking comfort, reassurance evokes humour and there is little or no feeling when she is killed.
Too much publicity for an item girl who is hardly visible on screen and the fight on the chopper also has not been captured well. Cinematography is an asset but the music is not happening at all and none of the women in the film are strikingly beautiful.
David Billa is an Ajith film alone where he lets his expressions do all the talking, there are no great mind games and moves as such but the sequences that unfold show that the man is smart and he goes about his job with steely determination and in the game gives his word and keeps it.
What stays at the end of the film is..when you stop working for someone and think of embarking on your own, there are bound to be pitfalls, people might not want to see you on their level but the onus lies on you to stand and carve your place. Chakri Toleti does a neat job of maintaining the tempo in the second half of the film and leaves Billa getting a life but losing his people.