Too lengthy an affair

‘Phillauri’ movie review by Divya Solgama

Expectations:

Right since the good old black and white days of ‘Madhumati’, our Hindi films have always loved the tales related to friendly ghost. These ghosts don’t scare you but tries to help the protagonist of the film. We have seen many actors right from Amitabh Bachchan, Raj Kapoor, Nasseruddin Shah, Dharmendra, Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Rahul Roy, Arshad Warsi, Nana Patekar, Sanjay Dutt and many other actors displaying their friendly ghost act in various films. Some films were terribly inspired or copied from the Hollywood films, there were some which manage to win their audience hearts and soul. The latest actor to join this bandwagon is Anushka Sharma with her film ‘Phillauri’. So, let’s find out whether Anushka will manage to win the heart and soul of today’s audience or might end up delivering one more Hollywood inspired film.

maxresdefaultStory:

‘Phillauri’ is a story about a young rapper Kanan (Suraj Sharma) who is about to get married to his childhood sweetheart Anu (Mehreen Pirzada). A few days before the marriage Anu’s family discovers that Kanan is a Manglik and in order to get rid of it, they have to get him married to a tree. After initial resistance Kanan finally agrees and completes the rituals. That night Kanan gets a visitor in the form of a friendly ghost Shashi (Anushka Sharma). As per Shashi, she was living in that tree for decades and now that Kanan is married to the tree, that means he is married to her. This leads to a terrible confusion along with the journey to the past life of Shashi and her beloved Phillauri (Diljit Dosanjh) and what happens next is what the entire film is all about.

Screenplay & Technical Details:

The story has some shades from the Hollywood film ‘Corpse Bride’ but on an overall basis has its own tale to narrate. The movie begins on a fun note displaying the grand Punjabi family of Suraj followed by his trauma of getting married to a tree, Anushka trying to wake Suraj followed by Suraj being scared, Anushka chasing Suraj, Suraj’s goof-ups due to Anushka in the family and on his engagement day followed by entire conversation between Suraj and Anushka. These scenes are highly entertaining and sets the right mood for the film. The initial shift between different time frames is interesting and intriguing. The first half is light, entertaining and enjoyable. Sadly, the curse of second half strikes back as the narrative gets super slow, bland and boring at times. The initial romance track between Anushka and Diljit is interesting and so is the later part of their love story. It’s the middle part which drags to the fullest and looses it’s connect with Suraj and Mehreen’s track. Though, there are some savior scenes like Anushka inspiring Diljit and Anushka waiting for Diljit in this super stretched second half. The movie would have been a disaster due to its weak second half, but ends up getting saved by an unusual climax. The thought and idea behind the climax is unique and something different. People might find it funny as the whole connect with Diljit – Anushka’s love story is diluted due to weak and dragging second half. Even this unique climax scene gets diluted as it’s stretched to the fullest. If only the writing in the second half would have been strong and the connect factor would have been high, the impact in the finale would have been like a masterstroke. Sadly, due to lengthy and bland second half, after a point you might not even care about Diljit and Anushka’s love story. The cinematography is good and goes well with the flow of the film. The special effects are of top notch and it’s very hard to find any glitch in all those scenes. 

Music:

Music is a key requirement for this movie. Sadly, except for ‘Sahiba’ and ‘Dum Dum’, none of the songs manage to do proper justice to the film. ‘Sahiba’ is one of the best songs to be composed in recent times and has the whole soul of ‘Phillauri’ but gets diluted due to bad placement in the film. The background music is good. 

Direction:

Director Anshai Lai comes up with a brilliant one liner idea with a fantastic start and end to his tale. Sadly, the content in between was stale and not up to the mark. The romantic track of Anushka fails to connect and also lacks the intensity. The movie should have been bit crispier and with some more detailing in the second half. Nevertheless the finale idea is something out of the box.

Performances:

Anushka Sharma looks highly beautiful as the friendly ghost. Wished the role was meatier. Diljit Dosanjh looks great and does full justice to his role. Suraj Sharma is the best of the lot due to his confused character and works in the favour of the film. Mehreen Pirzada lends good support. Raza Murad was wasted.

Final Verdict

On an overall basis, ‘Phillauri’ is like an outlined love story, where the internal part is hollow. The movie has some fun filled moments along with a few good songs and a fantastic concept, but gets badly ruined due to super lengthy second half and a weak love story.

Rating – 2.5/5 (Source – Bollywood Times)