After critically acclaimed NH-10, PHILLAURI is Anushka Sharma’s second outing as an actor-producer. Rest assured, her experiment with an ‘innocent ghost’ leaves us with a wide smile instead of goose bumps.
This simple village story is very Indian at heart. So whether you stay in Bhatinda or Birmingham, an average Indian and his janam patri/kundali are joined at the hip like conjoined twins since birth. It means, stars in the heaven have decided to tag along with him/her for entire life to bring upon good/bad days.
Take this; even in 21st century, ill predictions like Shani –prakop , Rahu-Ketu yog etc. can scare the living daylights out of an average Indian. Here PHILLAURI tries to poke at our complete submission to blind faith and superstitions that have been essentially drilled into our DNA by birth. It is indeed comical yet thought-provoking to watch the fossilised beliefs of age-old parents juxtaposing with western beliefs of gen-next in an awkward way.
So, for a change, we have Kanan,Suraj Sharma of LIFE OF A PI fame, stuck with a label of ‘Manglik’, written in invisible bold letters on his forehead. Call it a silent declaration of being an unsuitable candidate in the marriage market unless he marries a TREE to lay off all the ill-effects of the stars of course!!!
Here lies the twist in the film. Coincidently, hero takes saat-pheras around a tree only to be married to this beautiful ‘ghost’ of Anushka who is merrily ensconced on the tree since pre-independence days. Poor soul is unaware of this strange ritual but believes that Suraj is her ‘husband’ from other world. Her sudden entry and exits out of his earthy life starts creating havoc within his immediate family and particularly his beloved wife (Mehreen Pirzada) who is on the brink of insanity with this ‘Spirited interference’.
But our Shashi aka Anushka has lived through a traumatic past with her singer-partner, Phillauri (Diljit Dosanjh).
Diljit is a lovable rogue, high on life and liquor but enjoys singing to the lyrics penned by Anushka in his golden voice.
So which unexpected event broke their rhythm of life for ever? How Shashi ended up on a tree? And what Shashi wants from Kanan?
Answer lies in the sepia-toned beautiful flashbacks that cut into the current love story of Suraj and Mehreen intermittently.
Both love stories (pre and post-independence era) are entwined together with a common thread but film takes its own sweet time to come to the point and by that time we have lost the point …sigh!
PHILLAURI’s confusing storyline is frustrating.
Did it tackle superstition issue in depth? No. Is it out n out comedy? No. Is it engaging enough? May be mildly.
But it succeeds in giving us slick special effects. Very much believable and enjoyable than the tacky and cheap C-grade horror film special effects we are used to.
I will give a pat on back to SRK’s VFX factory and the film’s director to say that it was a worthy effort.
Anushka is a guts and glory gal who is not afraid of to tread on an unbeaten path. With super confidence, she spooks us with her acting calibre and spontaneity in a total deglamourized self. More power to her in the field of cinema and cricket (if I dare say ;-)).
Diljit Dosanjh of UDTA PUNJAB is a huge name in regional cinema and honestly, is here to stay for long. Being a natural performer with a flair for music, he is an actor who knows his capabilities. His vocal rendition of a soulful melody ‘Sahiba’ is probably the most romantic ballad of recent times.
Other foot-tapping Punjabi tracks keep us in high spirits. Must mention that rest of the non-filmi star cast, our very own loud relatives, are there for some serious fun.
Great show! Particularly, the act of ‘Talli’ grandma, from morning to night is to be highlighted.