“Tumne pedh se nahi..mujhse shaadi ki hai”
– Anushka Sharma, Phillauri
Phillauri is a fresh take on love stories. A man must marry a tree to ward off threats to his love-life, but the tree turns out to have more spirit than the man bargained for. An NRI Punjabi boy is made to marry a tree before he marries his fiancé as he is ‘maanglik’. The humour comes in when the ghost who lived on the tree starts trailing him.
Anushka, the friendly and entertaining ghost looks endearing, and the VFX adds to the look. The ‘bride-in-spirit’ gives life and commitment lessons to a hysterical ‘alive’ groom Suraj Sharma , while comparing it with her own story.
The film’s trailer is witty and quite entertaining and has been loved by one and all. I must say the first trailer I saw of this movie, I immediately decided I need to watch this movie for sure.
The idea is superbly original, culturally on point and has great songs which are easy on the ears. Music of the film is soulful, especially the touching and melodious Sahibaa (a reference to the legend of Mirza and Sahibaan) and Sufi song Dum Dum.
The first half of the film is gripping and you won’t even realize when it is half time. But the second half melts your heart.
However, there is one noticeable aspect of the film that is extremely impressive, its plot which is spread across two different eras. The film beautifully travels from 1919 to 2017. Debutante director Anshai Lal does a phenomenal job of picking up a subject which has two parallel stories. Defining romance in the past and the present day is a task which he handles sharply.
The narrative shifts between Shashi’s past and Kanan’s present is well knitted. The past story is set in undivided Punjab in the pre-Independence era, Anushka-Diljit’s love story is quite unusual. Whereas the present love story of Kanan-Anu is complicated.
This story portrays an irony of how in the past when the society was so orthodox, people still so effortlessly fell in love whereas in today era when there is no restriction, people complicate their lives with unnecessary confusions.
And special mention to the Punjabi wedding and the Punjabi family, which can talk about sex and champagne, all in one line.
Their is a perfect tuning between all the characters as well.
- Suraj Sharma (yes, the “Life of Pi” actor) aka Kanan nails the confused-aimless NRI Punjabi guy who returns from Canada to get married. He looks dumbfounded during most situations. With his silly expressions, body language and voice modulation, he lightens the mood and provides moments of laughter.
- Newbie Mehreen Pirzada’s helpless and hopelessly-in-love character named Anu is endearing, adorable and refreshing to watch as a loving would be bride to Kanan.
- But, the one who steals the heart is Diljit Dosanjh as Roop Lal ‘Phillauri’. Diljit Dosanjh who brings his trademark goodness (which I felt from watching him as a judge on ‘Rising Star’ on ColorsTV) to his role. Female fans of Diljit Dosanjh get a bonus because they get to see Punjab’s superstar to emerge from the holy waters of the Golden Temple.From flaunting his body to the kohl-eyes, he wins over every woman in the village with his singing. And he loves Shashi till “death do them apart.” He can be any girl’s dream man. He undergoes a transformation, and he acts that well. His chemistry with Anushka is crackling.
- And as the sparkly translucent ghost (kudos to the VFX team), Anushka delivers a solid performance with a weird mix of sadness and humour. Anushka literally shines in her ghostly avatar and is a visual treat. All that bling is too beautiful to the eyes. Her Shashi 3D silhouette has been done with great detailing. As a funny ghost and a secret poetess named Shashi before Independence, she does justice to her role. As a ghost seeing her gliding around or trying to blow out a chandelier bulb, would definitely make you laugh. She is definitely not spooky and captures the frame whenever she arrives. But the flashback of her life where she plays as a strong independent female character before independence is really applaud able. And she looks very pretty as a simple girl from a small village.
This is not the first time Bollywood has come up with the concept of friendly ghost. Their was a similar Bollywood movie named Paheli, which came out in the year 2005 and was about a friendly ghost played by SRK, who falls in love with a newly wed bride.
Over the time we have seen lots of bhoots, chudails and daayans in Bollywood movies. But there have been some friendly ghosts too, who have entertained us and been quite likable.
Here’s looking at some of them and their ratings (as of 27 March 2017 on IMDb)….
Phillauri’s concept is not completely baseless, it is based on the concept of Paranomal Spirit Attachment. The same concept has been used in the Tim Burton’s animation Corpse Bride. (rating-7.4 as 27 March 2017 on IMDb). There has been buzz going around that the story of Phillauri is a copy from this Hollywood movie. It bears a striking resemblance to this movie that released way back in 2005. The film had Johnny Depp engaged to Emily Watson. Hours before their wedding, Depp’s character gets cold feet, runs to the nearby forest and accidentally puts the ring on a tree bark which turns out to be the ghost of a bride played by Helena Bonham Carter then later tells the couple on how she was murdered. While Tim Burton’s animation has dark undertones, Phillauri is set in Punjab and looks far more colourful. But the stories are truly quite similar.
The climax of Phillauri will definitely blow your mind and you will come out of the theatre with tears of joy and a heavy heart (at-least I did). Diljit has claimed that he was in tears when he read the end of script.
Kudos to the producers Anushka Sharma, her brother Karnesh Sharma (Clean Slate Films) and Fox Studios for making us believe in a dreamy fairytale like Phillauri.
Overall, Phillauri is a perfect watch which makes you laugh and cry, also it redefines romance. The film has a great blend of emotions, humour and believability at the right place.
Also I hope the scare of being haunted by a ghost might stop people from getting married to trees and get rid of superstitious ‘maanglik’ beliefs.
and the Bhoot says…..