My 2 cents:
Acting in a role of Rajni Kanth really requires some guts and to give Ajit his due, he hasn't tried to imitate Rajni either in mannerisms or dialogs or anything. Ajit pulls off the don role with ease, as predominantly requires him to maintain a detached attached look and in the role of Velu has tried some comedy which are mostly of the slapstick kinds - he is not majorly successful in this and it is majorly because of bad dialogs. The action scenes show Ajit in full flow and the car chase scene - I think it is one of the more realistic car chases I have seen in tamizh cinema - no dupes and the director has really used Ajit's racing background very well. Along with Nirav Shah, Ajit remains a pillar for this movie clicking with the audience. But looks-wise, Ajit needs to shed weight - he looked trim and fit in Kireedom and has to go back to that mode. His paunch really looks bad in the second half - I have seen his interview in Sify regarding his weight, but my take on actors is that they have to keep their looks intact as their livelihood depends on their looks and their talent.
Has tried a difference character role - and has succeeded mostly. But in certain places, shows wrong face reactions - which leaves the audience confused. His role is developed better than the one for Balaji in the original
Looks like a dream and has really taken risks and performed stunts pretty well. Is a huge huge improvement on the obese Sripriya in the original.
Totally unwanted and has been included only for some B- or C- Class audience. Pathetic.
Direction - Screenplay - Dialogs
Vishnu Varadan has done the same mistake that Shankar did in Sivaji. While concentrating on making the film a visual masterpiece, he has lost some points on the screenplay and dialogs section. The english bits of dialogs are good, much better than the bits used by Gautam Menon in his films. But VV has to be given due credit for completely reworking the film and for me, who has watched the old Billa atleast 10 times, I wasn't able to see any resemblance to the old film's scenes. But the only bad thing was VV has failed to create more twists and turns and so, the film is pretty predictable, especially in the 2nd half.
Nirav Shah, take a bow - you, along with Ajit make this a super duper viewing experience. The action scenes rock and I won't be surprised if he gets a National Award soon.
YSR has scored well with My Name is Billa and Vethalaya Potendi and Seval Kodi and has majorly screwed up with the other 2 songs. The BGM, though more than makes up for the songs with a pulsating bit. To listen to it, see the esnips widget below
Sreekar Prasad has made sure, the film is crisp and there are no jarring cuts and continuity shifts.
Anu Varadan - You've really made everybody look ravishing in this movie - and easily she walks away with the years best costume designer award for 2007.
On the whole, the movie is a definite one-time watch - just for Nirav Shah and Ajit - they have given their heart out for this movie. And defintely, this movie does give a new direction for commercial tamil cinema - with technical finesse apparent in every frame.
Verdict - 3.5/5