Phillauri

Phillauri directed by debutante Anshai Lal is not at all a bad movie. But the film in a way is trying to find a balance between two love stories that are almost a century apart. While the witty feel you get looking at the present day entry of a really old ghost makes you laugh, the unappealing over poetic back story isn’t that absorbing and thus the movie feels like a half baked one which needed more depth.

Kanan is this NRI who has come to India for his wedding with his childhood friend Anu. As he was Manglik, the priest asks him to marry a tree first so that all the possible harms can be avoided. After this act the ghost of a girl Shashi follows Kanan. Kanan who was already having commitment issues becomes even more tensed after meeting Shashi. Why is this ghost with Kanan and what happened to her in the past is what Phillauri trying to tell us.

This movie marks the second scripting attempt of lyricist Anvita Dutt after Shaandaar. Well when you compare this film with that, the quality is definitely better. The early portions of Phillauri where we get to see this modern day love story and the repercussions on it after the entry of an old school ghost create genuinely hilarious moments on screen. I had a good laugh watching all those portions.  The problem is with the flash back story of Shashi. That segment in the film has elements like self realization and deep rooted love. Director Anshai and writer Anvita can’t really give that part of the story the kind of depth one would expect. The melodrama and the theatrical nature of that part really affect the film as it is using this love story to be a solution for Kanan and his partner.

Anushka Sharma effortlessly portrays both versions of Shashi. Diljith Singh Dosanjh doesn’t really have a meaty role in this film as it only uses his presence rather than performance. Suraj Sharma whom most of us might have last seen in Life of Pi was really good as Kanan and I hope he will get more character roles here. Mehreen Pirzada was fine in her Hindi debut.

Anshai Lal makes the film engaging and organic when it comes to the modern day sequences. As I said earlier the movie isn’t completely clear on how to treat Shashi and her past. While the production design has given some authenticity in terms of look, the writing isn’t that gripping. The mixing of historical facts in to this was an interesting thought which on execution became a little too elaborated. The movie is said to have a very modest budget and looking at that what they have achieved in visual effects is impressive. The song Sahiba was simply beautiful.

Phillauri has the urban humor which works in favor of the movie and at the same time the old school melodramatic flash back makes the film slightly underwhelming. The story here needed a stronger foundation.

Rating: 2.5/5

Final Thoughts

Phillauri has the urban humor which works in favor of the movie and at the same time the old school melodramatic flash back makes the film slightly underwhelming.

Signal

Green: Recommended Film

Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films

Red: Not Recommended

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