The Cinema Station’s Rating: Third AC Punjab Mail Journey (2.5/5)
Diljit Dosanjh, a Punjabi wedding and a Anushka Sharma as a golden sparkling ghost is what every Bollywood fan could gather from Phillauri’s trailer. Well, the film has a lot more to offer than these takeaways which make Phillauri a much more relishing film than expected. It gives you the punjabi swag and jolly moments with some naive yet adorable romance which everyone in the Bollywood’s target audience would enjoy.
Phillauri kicks off with a confused Suraj Sharma(Kanan) who is unwillingly being married to his childhood love Mehreen parizada(Anu). Sounds strange ? Yes, that is how Kanan’s parents responded when he tells them “I want to find myself” a couple of days before his marriage. Such light and hilarious family moments and pre wedding jitters make Philauri a remarkably interesting journey. Phillauri wears a fresh look as a major section of the film is a Punjabi wedding that anyone in the world would love to be a part of. Despite its modern day coolness, Phillauri also takes you back to the age old musical romance of Diljit and Anushka. The fact that these two love stories brilliantly co exist and support each other makes Phillauri a director’s special.
Characterization is something that goes perfect for Phillauri. While Anushka Sharma charms you as the lovable sparkling ghost after challenging roles in Sultan and Ae Dil, Suraj and Mehreen make you fall in love from their very first on screen conversation. Diljit’s entry is a scene that makes you heart skip a beat and the portrait of him singing Sahiba and Dum Dum in a village of Punjab is quite brilliantly brought out. However, I would have loved to see more of Diljit whose aura is powerful yet short lived. He looks to multiply his Bollywood fans after his award winning performance in Udta Punjab.Despite lead roles, the performance of Anu’s grandmother who always has a witty answer and a glass of whisky, is the special gift from the filmmakers; the perfect Punjabi dadi.
It cashes on its music, frequent humour, pre independence family drama and superbly etched characters. Phillauri gives you hardly anything to complain about for almost 100 minutes of its running time until suddenly you feel the driver losing navigation and the journey going off course. Despite what could have been one of the prettiest love stories of the year, in a matter of moments Phillauri loses its charm as we see more and more of sparkling ghosts and lesser living characters take charge towards the end. Hence, Phillauri’s end is much more painful than Mustafa Burmawala’s acting debut, Machine.
Just like the Titanic did nothing wrong than hitting the iceberg, Phillauri makes every move right until its last twenty minutes. Director Anshai Lal’s first film looks good but could have been much better if the twist in the tale could have been better. In an age where ghosts can only scare Phillauri makes us fall in love as Anushka’s VFX created version ensures Phillauri lands safe with not much to complain about. To conclude, Since when did ghosts start sparkling ?