Phillauri is on screens all over the country. There has been much speculation about this film, given it’s sweet yet supernatural trailer.
PhillauriSweet, simple and slightly supernatural
Phillauri is on screens all over the country. There has been much speculation about this film, given it’s sweet yet supernatural trailer. Anushka Sharma is the producer and the lead actress in Phillauri and has taken up the quirky role of a friendly ghost. (Witty ghost certainly wouldn’t argue with her choice). The film is directed by Anshai Lal and written by Anvita Dutt. Phillauri is a simple story about love and loss, and the stark contrast in the understanding of that emotion between yesteryear and present day. Just like an apparition, the one thing that takes centrestage in this film is its soul. Phillauri’s love is so pure that it lives on 90 years after inevitable death. But will you love the film? Read on.
First, let’s meet the actors:
Anushka Sharma as the friendly ghost
Diljeet Dosanjh as the puppy eyed maestro
Suraj ‘Pi’ Sharma as the haunted and hopeless
Mehreen Pirzada as the blushing bride to be
The story begins as we watch a reluctant Suraj Sharma arrive in India for his own wedding. He is driven through the rituals hastily by an over enthusiastic gathering of relatives. Little does he know, that he will have to face slightly more than the average wedding circus. Anushka Sharma appears (quite literally) and claims to have been accidentally married to him. The rest of the film is mostly a ping pong game between present day and Anushka’s sepia tinted flashbacks. Of course, her story with Diljit Dosanjh of timeless love is the real reason to watch the film.
It’s quirky, but not as much as it could have been, it’s romantic, but couldn’t make our hearts swoon and it’s spirited (pun intended), but doesn’t bring us to the edge of our seats. Phillauri is good cinema but misses the necessary oomph for a blockbuster. However, it’s still worth the watch. Two hours of relaxing yesteryear romance and a touch of modern day doesn’t really spell out a boring weekend.
Anushka Sharma plays the ghost who does less haunting and more counselling. She also plays her live self. The quietly rebellious beauty with a secret gift. She plays both roles well. However, her versatility is not as much the champion as is her screen presence. The acting is adequate, but as in all her films, she seems a little guarded and desperate to prove herself at all times. The moment when she comes face to face with Diljeet whilst delivering a note and rushes off with a schoolgirl like excitement, reminds us of how much she has grown as an actress over the years. We really wish her ‘bhootni’ role had a few more gags or subtly presented humor though. Seems like a wasted opportunity.
Diljeet Dosanjh is a miracle on the screen. His wide-eyed lovesick stint is so endearing that it actually allows us to connect with the film. He plays the local village rockstar, but just like Anushka, he too has a secret. All the songs he pretends to sing on screen become ten times more soulful simply due to the former. He leaves us wanting more.
Suraj Sharma, whom you perhaps last saw stuck on a boat with a tiger in Life of Pi, is our reluctant groom. His performance is engaging and adequately executed. His character however, is terribly written. It’s very unidimensional and doesn’t allow Suraj to display his complete skill set. The same can be said for Mehreen, who plays the unfulfilled fiance throughout the film without a hint of deviation.
The film has a very simple story, it’s spread out in two hours and is definitely on the slower side. It is relaxing, romantic and interesting. It isn’t however your complete Bollywood entertainer, and you cannot expect elements of action and adventure. The script too, is very predictable. The one thing which stands out, is the cinematography of the song sequences. The music is rustic and soulful and so are the locations. The direction and screenplay are adequate but the editing is a little subpar. The film may remind you of Love Aaj Kal, and maybe of Bhootnath or even Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic. It isn’t however, as entertaining as either of those films.
Phillauri is a well made film and leaves us in a blissful mood, it isn’t phenomenal though, and maybe that is why it might be a good option if you wait for it to come onto television screens. It’s ideally suited for an afternoon watch on a lazy Sunday. I give it 2.5/5.
You will like this film if: You’re a die-hard romantic or love stress-free romcoms
You will dislike this film if: You go in expecting the full Bollywood masala combo pack
Best performance: Diljeet Dosanjh