Phillauri is a movie about a man who is forced to marry a tree to ward off ill-luck that surrounds his love-life, which turns into a nightmare when the tree is embodied by a spirit with an unfinished business.Wikipedia
Anushka Sharma's Phillauri begins well enough but soon falls prey to its languid pace. It only comes alive when Anushka and Diljit Dosanjh are together on screen in Dam Dam. Then it makes you sigh for what could have been if the whole film had the same energy.
The fundamental problem with Phillauri, I believe, may be one of miscasting. Raza Murad, the man with the greatest voice of all, is around but doesn't get to speak much. Sharma, similarly, is perfectly suitable as a ghost when gliding around or trying to blow out a chandelier bulb, but, despite sparkly translucence, she has no aura. It is in flashback that she sparks brightest, when she listens to a record for the first time, or when she allows herself to grin at the idea of shamelessness. Life becomes her.
It is a light-hearted, average love story. Watch it, if you must, for Anushka Sharma and Diljit Dosanjh.
Phillauri is a perfect watch this weekend which makes you laugh and cry, also redefining romance on celluloid. The film has a great blend of emotions and believability at the right place, though the pace of the film is slightly slow in the first half which might bore the audience.
Funny how after dodging dramatic vigour like a shortcoming, even at places where it would be viewed as benefit, Lal succumbs to a gimmick of a climax. The special effects are seamless but for a story that circles around a spirit it’s a pity how little one sees of it in the movie.
The idea must have been to juxtapose the two love stories, but on screen, that sentiment hardly comes through. The two timelines and the characters seem worlds apart, and the tenuous thread that holds them together seems to snap much before the 137-minute narrative ends.
It seems as though Phillauri could have gone in a lot of directions, but it took the road usually travelled.
Anushka Sharma's spirited act is the only reason you might want to give this dull boring romantic drama a chance.
Phillauri is a fun watch thanks to its light-hearted story. Shashi’s friendly ghost will win your hearts.
Phillauri's concept is good and novel. But the delivery is what North Indians call KLPD. The climactic payoff at the end comes way too easily. It's just lazy writing after a point. If only Shashi emerged in the writer's room before filming began and smacked some imagination into Anvita Dutt's head.
Phillauri is truly a fun film. For romance enthusiasts, this movies got everything. For the casual movie goer, it’s got the right amount of humour. But for the auteur of love, this film and it’s poetic old world charm can weave a spell of magic.
After NH10, the promos of PHILLAURI promised some fun but it sadly ends as a pun on itself in trying to do so many things in one film, a comedy that too supernatural one and an old fashioned romance that forces the friendly spirit to hang out from the screen wondering who is suppose to take charge of the proceedings.
A film like this is frustrating, to be frank. The narrative is refreshingly written, brimming with breezy humour. But it is ironic that the haunting spirit is lacking, both metaphorically and literally speaking.
In terms of writing, directorial execution and acting, yesterdayhas zest and today does not in this inconsistent albeit sweet spook story.
The film has flashes of brilliance, but the tedious sequences go on for so long you think you have aged when you emerge out into the sunshine.
Phillauri has some spirited performance from its lead actors, unfortunately, the same spirit has not gone into the making of the movie. What’s started off as a promising film ends up as a boring and a tiresome hotchpotch by the end. Going by the nearly empty theatre hall where I watched the movie and the muted response the movie received at the end, I am sure #ShashiWasThere is actually scaring people away from the screens. Highly Avoidable!
Audience Reviews for Phillauri
Good : Cinematography , Production design , visually splendid , Good performances and direction , light hearted treatment .
Weakness : predictability , Quite more emotional drama at the second half
Sporadic Amusement. ♦ Grade C-
Successful fantasy dramas in Bollywood are a rare phenomena. With Amol Palekar's Paheli (2005) as a solid benchmark, it can be difficult to create an interesting film, as this ambitious project by a debutante director shows.
Kanan (Suraj Sharma) is a young man who arrives from Canada and is taken by his parents straight to his would-be-fiancée and high school sweetheart Anu's (Mehreen Pirzada) house for their engagement and subsequent wedding which is scheduled a week from now. Already mad with the swift turn of events and unsure about the whole marriage thing, Kanan tries to speak his mind, but it all falls in deaf ears. Things move at a faster rate as he is directed by the family pandit (Hindu scholar) to first marry a tree so that he can get rid of his astrological curse. No prize for guessing, but Kanan soon finds out that the tree that he married the previous day contained the ghost of a woman named Shashi (Anushka Sharma) who now believes and takes him to be her lawfully-wedded husband. A shaken Kanan tries to avoid her, but for how long? And how is he going to explain it to Anu, who now thinks that Kanan has changed from a genteel lover-boy to a weed-smoking hipster who plays around with women's feelings...
If there is a thing called convenient filmmaking, then this is it. With the setup of a big Indian wedding that reminds me of a yesteryear Malayalam-language film, Anwar Rasheed's Ustad Hotel (2012), used to introduce the characters, the film makes a promising start. Superstitious families, an over-attached girlfriend, and a mysterious ghost from the previous century - the film has everything a Bollywood film could ask for. And for some time, it even manages to entertain. However, the level of quality and entertainment soon falls when you realize that the humor is forced and the drama unceremonious and inconsequential. Kanan is a 26-year old man and his encounters with Shashi are so childish they are cringe-worthy. Suraj's portrayal as the helpless guy does not work either, even when he is supported by a talented supporting cast.
The only positive element that works for the film is that the suspense about Shashi's past stays strong throughout the film, mostly because it is explored non-linearly and is only dug deeper in the final 30 minutes. The base is quite similar to Palekar's 2005 SRK-starrer, with the exception of disappointing performances from the lead cast. Suraj sports a single expression throughout the 2 hours of running time - whether it is him flirting with his would-be or being terrorized by Shashi. Anushka does not do much for her character other than lazing around from point A to B looking like she hasn't a clue. All excuses defending her character should be attributed to bad writing. Pirzada is a cutie, but needs to improve her acting chops if she wants to stay. Diljit Dosanjh is the only main character who gives out an authentic performance, and we cannot thank director Anshai Lal for that. The direction is overall average, with Lal using tried and tested methods to narrate his story and still failing to impress. The fitting and well-crafted background score and few hummable songs further accentuate the film as a one-time watch.
With laudable CGI for a Bollywood film and the fact that the romance in the film is tied to an important part of Indian pre-Independence history, this second production by Anushka Sharma is a watchable but average affair. Go for it if you have nothing else to do.
BOTTOM LINE: Anshai Lal's "Phillauri" is a ghost story that flip flops between romance, fantasy, and comedy with these genres providing entertainment in the descending order. It is high on romance thanks to the backstory set in the 1910s, but is pretty low on comedy, no thanks to the writing. Watch it on TV.
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES
"Desi ghost in a movie with a videshi feel!!!"
It's been a while since I had written the review for a movie & it had more to do with the dearth of movies which tempted me to watch. I did watch "Commando 2" & didn't feel it was worth the time to write something about. With the summer holidays fast approaching, there are a host of movies lined up for the next couple of weeks. This weekend we have Anushka Sharma's "Phillauri" hitting the screens & from the trailer, it looks pretty promising. Hopefully she wont be hurt by mediocre box office returns just like Kohli who had to retire hurt from the last match of the Ind-Aus series.
The film unfolds with Kanan (Suraj Sharma) flying down from Canada to Amritsar to marry his childhood sweetheart, Anu (Mehreen Pirzada). He didn't seem quite enthusiastic about it as he felt that they were rushing into wedlock, much to the dismay of Anu. Both their families were however moving ahead with the arrangements & one of them involved getting Kanan married to a tree to ward off the ill luck which might befall on them in future. It so happened that the tree had the spirit of Sashi (Anushka Sharma) & the ritual carried out meant he was married to her. Incidentally, he was the only one who could see her & as expected, it proves to be the trigger of mayhem. So how was Kanan going to get himself freed from Sashi or was it a figment of his imagination borne out of his weed puffing habits???
This is Anushka Sharma's second production after "NH10" & she has given the reins of the movie to the debutant director, Anshai Lal. It has been scripted by Anvita Dutt, the thread of which is kinda novel though there is a feel of Hollywood about it towards the climax. Unlike most movies, the first half is its weak point since apart from the initial laughs, hardly anything happens though it did have the scope for it, The second half is interesting when it focuses on the pre-independence love story & just like Imtiaz Ali's "Love Aaj Kal", this segment endears to the audience & I personally loved the climax (even though it was stretched a bit too much). The main drawback of the movie is its length as the subject as such wasnt explored adequately & it lacked substance.
On the technical side, the CGI was done well, Sameer Uddin's BGM was impressive while Shashwat Sachdev & Jasleen Royal's music was in sync with the mood of the movie. Anushka Sharma has done a fine job along with Diljit Dosanjh, who impressed in the intense scenes. Suraj Sharma (of "Life of Pi" fame) was just about adequate while Mehreen Pirzada seemed apt for the role.
Verdict: The film is unlikely to make such of an impact at the box office as it will cater only to the multiplex audience. But since the production cost is just 21C, it should be able to break even in a week or so. So would I suggest to watch it??? well I would if you are in a mood for a Hindi movie; but if you are in Kerala watch "Take Off" first before even thinking of anything else!!!