Saturday, February 14, 2009

ye naaii ho sakataa!

The Saloon and Beauty Parlours Association, the Hairdressers' Associations of Mumbai, the whatever card-foisting Nest Of Naaiis reportedly had a problem with the title of Priyadarshan's latest repackaged ripoff, Billu Barber (the film is a filch from Katha Parayumbol in which writer Sreenivasan plays a barber called Barber [duh!] Balan). The reason offered by Uday Takke, the President of the SBPA, is funnier than any Priyadarshan film can ever hope to be:

We want Billu Barber to be called Billu Hairdresser as barber is a derogatory and insulting term. We choose hairdressing as a profession because it is an art. Also there are many women hairstylists if Billu Barber becomes a hit, women hairdressers will be called barbers too!

Right. This film is supposed to be biographical. What caves do these post-apocalyptic clowns reside in? Don't they know that Bollywood is all about escapist cinema? I don't expect them to understand alliteration and why their alternative title simply sucks (duh!).

Shah Rukh Khan, whose glorified extended special appearance in the film might equal Amitabh Bachchan's in Andha Kanoon in value and audience draw, promptly did the easiest thing he could to tackle the tonsorial tremors: He shaved the Barber from the title. The film has hit the marquee with its trimmed title which will have no doubt confused those who showed up thinking this was a sequel to Billa.

Bathing in the brylcreem of victory at this shave too silly, this trim too traboccant, Takke added more butter to the deadly dish of reason: Barber is a casteist term. Those who think this is an insignificant issue have stunted minds. Stunted minds and unshaven heads ... or undressed naked heads perhaps, since the locally politically correct caste-free term seems to be hairdresser.

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