Phillauri Movie Review: Sluggish SnoozeFest
Actress Anushka Sharma made her debut as a producer with the dark thriller NH10 and so, when it was announced that her second production venture is a comic ghost story set against the backdrop of a Punjabi wedding, I was naturally curious to see how Phillauri would be. However, to my utter disappointment, the film failed to impress in every manner, except perhaps the special effects. Kanan (Suraj Sharma), a Punjabi lad studying in Canada, comes back to his hometown in Punjab to get married to his childhood sweetheart Anu (Mehreen Kaur Pirzada). However, on discovering that Kanan is a 'manglik', the family decides to get him married to a tree as per traditions before his actual wedding. This ritual however complicates everything when Shashi (Anushka Sharma), a ghost residing on the tree starts haunting Kanan as she considers herself married to him. Meanwhile, Kanan develops cold feet about this wedding, which strains his relationship with Anu. On interacting more with Shashi, Kanan discovers her life story, which comprises her protective elder brother (Manav Vij) and her star-crossed lover (Diljit Dosanjh), a rural singer. How Kanan helps Shashi find solace and gets his own life back on track in the process, forms the rest of the plot. Suraj Sharma, who had delivered a powerful performance in Life Of Pi, doesn't manage to impress in this film and seems to have a perpetually perplexed expression plastered on his film throughout the film while Mehreen is seen weeping buckets through the film like a modern-day Nirupa Roy. Anushka, Manav and Diljit manage to hold their own, but in the absence of a strong plot, their efforts go waste. Though the initial twenty minutes of the film seem to promise an entertaining tale, the plot starts going downhill from then on. The pace is slow and sluggish and the screenplay is quite loose. While Suraj and Shashi's sequences seem promising, the portion involving Shashi and her life in pre-Independent India, ends up boring the hell out of you with its pace. Anushka and Diljit have zero chemistry, which further proves to be the film's undoing and the music of the film is not memorable at all. The second half has been stretched unnecessarily and the director seems eager to take twenty minutes to explain something that could have taken five minutes. The special effects are quite decent, but that's the only good thing to be said about this flick. If you are in the mood for a funny ghost story, we suggest you stick to Dabid Koepp's Ghost Town starring Greg Kinnear, Tea Leoni and Rick Gervais.