Phillauri has many points that are unneeded, many that could have been edited, but you still walk out of it with a smile.
Hindi movies are generally said to have the curse of the second half. Phillauri has the curse of the first half which is very slow and leads no where. There is too much set up for the second half in the first half and that doesnt really work, because people might just walk out. The second half is also not flawless. It is stretched, specially the climax.
The entire story revolves around Kanan, who is a 26 year old return from Canada, and Anu getting married in 2017. Now because Kanan is a manglik, he has to marry a tree before getting married to Anu. Ab kyuki shaadi ped se nahi ladki se hoti hai, he ends up marrying the ghost of Shashi and of course, wants liberation from her. Throughout the film, Shashi keeps going back to her life, when she was alive and in love with Phillauri and her life as a poet in 1919.
The movie celebrates costume, culture and traditions and the change in all of these by beautifully depicting each one of them. But what it celebrates even more is love. Love that does not change. Love, that remains pious over generations.
Director Anshai Lal has tried to include too many things in the movie, making it almost a mess, but it is not a mess. The performances by Anushka Sharma, Diljit Dosanjh, Suraj Sharma, and Mehrene Kaur Pirzada do not let the film become a mess.
Anushka Sharma is a natural. She plays Shashi who is a ghost in half of the film and a human poet in the other. As an actor, she knows no boundaries. Diljit Dosanjh doesnt have a very huge part but is so convincing as Phillauri. And one thing I really love about Diljit is the innocence in his eyes. There lies so much beauty and depth in them. Suraj Sharma who plays Kanan is good, really good but his brilliance from Life Of Pi is missing. Mehrene Pirzada as Anu doesnt contribute much to the narrative, except asking one question that really helped, but she plays her part well. Kya roya hai poori film mei…
You walk out of Phillauri with Sahiba. Kya bol hai, kya kavita hai…
All in all, because I love romantic films, I loved Phillauri, but not everyone will.
If I had to rate the film, 7th ya 8th grade mei I had studied about the British Raj. And if you cannot connect the dots before the great suspense is revealed, I’ll think youre uneducated.