Rating: 3/5 Stars (Three stars)
Star Cast: Anushka Sharma, Suraj Sharma, Diljit Dosanjh, Mehreen Pirzada
Director: Anshai Lal
What’s Good: Philauri manages to keep you entertained all through. Anushka Sharma is delightful as the bride in spirit.
What’s Bad: Apart from being slightly stretched towards the end, the film’s dual track becomes tedious at times.
Loo Break: You could use one!
Watch or Not?: For regular movie goers, Phillauri is a good watch thanks to its breezy vibe.
Canada return Kannan (Suraj Sharma) is getting hitched to his high school sweetheart Anu (Mehreen Pirzada) in Amritsar. Returning 3 years after his stint abroad, Kannan has picked up a few western habits which mainly includes a regular intake of weed.
Smothered by the attention and overall pressure of an Indian wedding, Kannan is disinterested and Anu is upset with his casual demeanor.
After being declared a ‘manglik’, he is asked to marry a tree to solve his future problems post-marriage. Resisting at first, Kannan gives into pressure and married a tree, only to find later that he’s now married to the ghost of Shashi (Anushka Sharma), whose soul lived on the tree.
While Kannan finds it hard to explain his bout with the ghost, it is Shashi’s back story that later interests him and even becomes a learning for his own life.
What is Shashi’s story? An unfulfilled love story? What’s her connection to Phillauri is what lies in the past.
Phillauri Review: Script Analysis
Love stories are the mainstay of Bollywood and I’m sure screen writers have to rack their brains, every time to come up with something novel. Writer Anvita Dutt for Phillauri does exactly that. It plays with the concept of love in two separate time frames. While the new age couple, Anu and Kannan are allowed to sleep in the same bed before their marriage, Shashi and her lover have to bear a beating from her elder brother, on being caught.
Kannan’s character is that of a confused chap who ‘wants to find himself’ where as Anu has dreamed of nothing more than a ‘happily ever after with him.’ Blast from the past couple, Shashi and her love are quite opposite on the other hand, the guy wants to prove he is worthy of her and hence gives up all his ill habits. This contrast of love has been shown nicely.
Kannan’s first brush with Shashi is all fun and that pretty much sums up for the light comedy that the script brings in.
At some point though I kind of felt like it is a little unfair on part of Anu’s family to force her into a marriage where the guy clearly has cold feet and hasn’t managed to make anything of himself. Also, it’s sad to see the girl being upset with her boyfriend over assumptions that he’s seeing someone else rather than him being heavily into weed or being a plain loser when it comes to handling situations.
Towards the climax, there’s an entire sequence where Anu and Kannan solve Shashi’s mystery and that comes across as a little far fetched.
The poetries of Phillauri are beautiful and blend well in the romance of the bygone era.
Phillauri Review: Star Performance
Anushka Sharma as Shashi – the bride in spirit, pulls off a nice act. She looks resplendent in all the frames and especially in the flashback. She’s donning the producer’s hat as well for the film and we can easily say that she’s balanced both her jobs well.
Diljit Dosanjh has amazing screen presence. He compliments well for his character who has a change of heart and performs the transformation quite well.
Suraj Sharma aptly portrays the confused NRI. He’s dumbfounded in most of the scene and that pretty much works for his character.
Mehreen Pirzada makes her debut with the film and we must say that this fresh face is delightful. She’s pretty and pulls off the Amritsar gal, who says ‘itne saal se go-around kar rahe hai’ (dating) act in a perfect manner.
Phillauri Review: Direction, Music
Anushka Sharma’s first production, NH10 was received well. We could say, that as a producer, she does have a good eye for stories and and even better choice when it comes to looking for directors. Anshai Lal makes his directorial debut and it is a confident one at that. I strongly feel, more than the story, its his execution of it that works more. He captures the whole Lavish Punjabi wedding spirit well and the pre-independance era even better, with all the earthy colors. The lighting is spot and scenes such as Diljit’s recording or the one where Shashi sneaks out are well made. Lal’s storytelling is paced well at start but gets tedious in the second half.
Visual effects is the key contributor in making this film look polished. Anushka’s 3D work of the ghost has been done with immense detailing. The blingy lady looks dreamy and less scary!
A few scenes linger for too long that’s where your patience kind of runs out. Particularly in one scene where Anu’s house help misunderstands Kannan’s signals and also the climax.
Music complimented well to the story. Songs like Dum Dum and Sahibaa are clear winners.
Phillauri Review: The Last Word
Phillauri is a fun watch thanks to its light-hearted story. Shashi’s friendly ghost will win your hearts. A 3/5 for this!
Phillauri releases on 24th March, 2017.
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