October 24, 2020

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Phillauri Review: This Friendly Ghost Doesn’t Entertain You!

Anushka Sharma’s first production venture ‘NH10’ was highly acclaimed because of its substantial storyline, and thus expectations were a bit good enough from her second venture. Now let us see how well this expectation has been paid off!

Story

The movie is all about an unfulfilled love of a ghost who lives in a banyan tree and has not got any peace till date, ever since the year of 1919. Canada based Kanan Rajinder (Suraj Sharma) lands in India to marry his childhood love Anu (Mehreen Pirzada). However, little did he get to knew from his parents that he is ‘Manglik’ and have to first marry a tree, which would be chopped off later, to remove the bad aura of Manglik. And then only he will be able to marry his childhood sweetheart.

With no choice in hand and under family’s pressure, Kanan did married a tree but soon found out that he accidently got married with a friendly ghost, named Shashi (Anushka Sharma). As a result of this marriage, Shashi is bound to Kanan, who must figure out a way to take care of the unfinished business that’s causing her to linger around. At first Kanan got scared, but soon they became friends where the former even introduces her with Anu.

When they both quizzed Shashi about her ghostly existence, she took them back and recalled her love story with Roop Lal Phillauri (Diljit Dosanjh). However, their love story never turned out to be a successful one due to some serious circumstances that became a hindrance. Now what were those villainous circumstances? And will Shashi’s soul forever be like a ghost? Also, will Kanan and Anu be happily married in these ghostly circumstances? Answers to these forms the crux of the story!

Writing and Direction

The film had a great potential to become a romantic comedy flick, but the problem is that you only get what you see in the trailer. Well, nothing more, and thankfully nothing less. Besides being confusing, the film is completely predictable and endlessly dragged.

Written by Anvita Dutt, pacing of the screenplay is not just unenergetic, it is completely slow, where it allows many scenes to just go on and on for quite a longer period of time than they actually should. I found myself getting truly impatient in a lot of places.

Director Anshai Lal, who is making his directorial debut with this film, sadly fails to impress by not convincingly narrating the two different eras along with two different love stories. While the film begins on a positive note and has its share of comical moments in the first half, they soon get disappear in the second half.

In addition, the narrative moves between Shashi’s past and Kanan’s present seem like a sudden time-travel, and most importantly, Shashi’s story (which is the emotional core of the movie) is largely formulaic.

Performances

Though Suraj Sharma nails as the confused, aimless and a romantic guy here (which helps the audience to lighten up their mood in this slow movie), but somehow lacks both – expressing emotions and delivering comical timing (which was the prime genre of the movie). Overall, he makes a decent Bollywood debut with PHILLAURI.

Mehreen Pirzada as Anu, who is helpless and hopelessly-in-love, is quite endearing, but fails to impress as her Bollywood debut. Although the chemistry between Suraj and Mehreen are likeable and ease on the eye, they were flat on many scenes.

Diljit Dosanjh, who was striking and sincere in his debut Hindi movie Udta Punjab, is an absolute misfit here. In short, he brings his trademark goodness to a rather bland role. Though the film’s protagonist Anushka Sharma excels in the film, but she is not as good as she can be and thus it wastes her potential here (credit goes to her half-baked character). In NH10 (her first production venture), she gave some remarkable performance, but in Phillauri (her second production venture), she delivers a decent performance.

Music and Other Technicalities

Music is soulful to hear, especially the song ‘Sahiba’ and ‘Dum Dum’, which is composed by Shashwat Sachdev. However, when it comes as a picturization in the movie, it simply strains your eyes by adding to the unnecessary runtime.

Background score is apt according to the film’s narrative, VFX is good enough, Cinematography is notable enough, and Editing could have been crisper enough to make it more appealing.

So is it a Paisa-Vasool Film? Well, not that much! But on can watch it on some lazy Sunday afternoon. On the whole, the film fails to make you laugh with their comical elements and also fails to make you cry with their emotive elements. It overall makes you feel sad and yawn with its slow-paced and sluggish story-telling.

Rating: 2 Stars

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