Rajeev Masand’s Movie Review of Phillauri

A big fat Punjabi wedding is temporarily interrupted by the arrival of a ghost in Phillauri. It’s a promising film that tosses around some ambitious ideas but it’s also weighed down by pacing issues and occasional script contrivances.

Just days before he’s meant to tie the knot with his childhood sweetheart, Canada-returned Kanan (Suraj Sharma) appears to have developed cold feet. Add to that the fact that as a result of performing a precautionary pre-wedding formality, he’s accidentally married a spirit. Anushka Sharma, playing the ghostly apparition, floats around the place visible only to the young man. Naturally all sorts of mayhem ensues.

The film cuts between this track, and the past, in which the ghost’s back-story is revealed. Turns out she has some unfinished business from nearly a hundred years ago. At the time, she was a young woman named Shashi, living not too far from Amritsar in the rural town of Phillaur under the watchful gaze of her strict older brother who had no idea that she wrote poetry or that she had fallen for a reformed lothario and folk singer (Diljit Dosanjh).

Despite some nice moments between Diljit and Anushka and the distinctly earthy songs, this track unfortunately ends up feeling like a slog because it offers little by way of surprise or intrigue. You’d much rather stay in the present day, where Kanan, still being stalked by Shashi’s ghost, and confused about his feelings on getting married, is causing much stress to Anu (Mehreen Pirzada), his pretty bride-to-be, even as the rest of their extended families – particularly a scene-stealing, whisky-loving beeji – try to calm his nerves.

Director Anshai Lal and writer Anvita Dutt mine laughs from the absurdity of the contemporary track, while giving us two interesting female characters who couldn’t be more dissimilar. Although separated by a century, Shashi is feisty, strong-willed, and possesses a flair for the creative. Anu, meanwhile, so blinded by love, reveals nothing by way of spine or self-respect. The film then is centered on the idea that love – or the pursuit of love – is the only honest, enduring emotion even as everything else is susceptible to change.

However, the film is truly and irreparably crippled by its languid pace. At nearly 2 hours and 20 minutes, Phillauri is way too long, and just doesn’t have enough plot to merit that running time. The film’s second half is stronger than the first, but ends in a climax that is sure to polarize viewers. I thought it was bold and original, and it worked for me, although I wish the special effects team – which until this point had done a good job – hadn’t gone beserk trying to show off in the film’s final moments.

All four leads put in strong performances, but Suraj Sharma’s flair for physical comedy is a refreshing revelation, and Diljit Dosanjh is impressive, particularly in the intense bits. Anushka Sharma, who’s also produced the film, brings a nice old-world charm to Shashi. She shines both in the dramatic portions and the comedic ones.

Phillauri isn’t a consistently smooth ride. It’s uneven and bumpy and unforgivably slow in portions. But a lot of it works and some of it flies. In a landscape where original ideas are hard to come by, I’m willing to settle for that.

I’m going with three out of five.

Rating: 3 / 5

Did you like this blog?*
How did you find this blog?*
What kind of articles would you like to read on the blog?*
Name:*
E-mail:*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Rajeev Masand

  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Omerta

    Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Keval Arora, Rajesh Tailang, Blake Allan Director: Hansal Mehta In his new film Omerta, director Hansal Mehta seeks to dive into...

    BMS EditorMay 5, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of 102 Not Out

    Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Jimit Trivedi Director: Umesh Shukla Let’s just face it Hindi cinema doesn’t know what to do with senior...

    BMS EditorMay 5, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Avengers: Infinity War

    Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Pratt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe...

    BMS EditorApril 26, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Film Review of Beyond The Clouds

    Cast: Ishaan Khattar, Malavika Mohanan, Goutam Ghose, Tannishtha Chatterjee, GV Sharada, Amruta Santosh Thakur, Shivam Pujari Director: Majid Majidi Iranian master Majid Majidi,...

    BMS EditorApril 21, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Film Review of October

    Cast: Varun Dhawan, Banita Sandhu, Gitanjali Rao Director: Shoojit Sircar October, directed by Shoojit Sircar, is a thoughtful, meditative film about...

    BMS EditorApril 13, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Film Review of Blackmail

    Cast: Irrfan Khan, Kirti Kulhari, Arunoday Singh, Divya Dutta, Pradhuman Singh, Anjula Sathe, Gajraj Rao, Omi Vaidya, Vibha Chibbar, Neelima Azim Director: Abhinay...

    BMS EditorApril 6, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Film Review of Baaghi 2

    Cast: Tiger Shroff, Disha Patani, Manoj Bajpayee, Randeep Hooda, Deepak Dobriyal, Prateik Babbar, Darshan Kumaar, Vipin Sharma Director: Ahmed Khan. A distraught young...

    BMS EditorApril 5, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Film Review Of Pacific Rim Uprising

    Cast: John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Cailee Spaeny, Burn Gorman Director: Steven S DeKnight I’m one of those who thoroughly...

    BMS EditorMarch 24, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Film Review Of Hichki

    Cast: Rani Mukerji, Neeraj Kabi, Sachin Pilgaonkar, Supriya Pilgaonkar, Harsh Mayar Director: Siddharth P Malhotra There is nothing original, nothing surprising, nothing even...

    BMS EditorMarch 24, 2018

All articles/blogs are intended to inform, entertain and amuse. We make no representations or guarantees about the truth, accuracy or quality of any content.

Copyright 2018 © Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Subscribe to our email newsletter today to receive updates on the latest news!
Thank You For Subscribing To Us!

Now get regular updates on the latest entertainment news and style trends.

Providing you with the best of Bollywood, Hollywood, style and more.
Get the best in entertainment, while keeping yourself entertained!
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
×
×
WordPress Popup