Phillauri released this week, and the verdict from the critics is out. While Anushka Sharma’s performance has been appreciated, the movie’s storyline has been panned. Do catch it in theatres if you are a huge Anushka fan. Otherwise, you’ll do well to just sit at home and binge on a TV series.
Once the one-line idea of guy-getting-married-to-spirit has been established, the film hovers around, like Shashi, from one useless scene to another which are neither funny nor interesting nor of any service to whatever goodness the film has.
Times Of India
The actors sweep in and carry the film, though. With his body language and voice modulation, Suraj Sharma nails the confused-aimless millennial and lightens the mood. Mehreen Pirzada’s helpless and hopelessly-in-love Anu is endearing. Diljit Dosanjh brings his trademark goodness to a rather bland role. And as the translucent ghost (kudos to the VFX team), Anushka delivers a solid performance with a weird mix of sadness and humour.
The pacing is not just languid, it is positively slow, and it allows scenes to go on for much longer than they should. I found myself getting impatient in too many places.
The spirit is willing but the flesh is a bit weak. Had the narrative threads been braided together even more tightly, Phillauri could have been an even more enjoyable comedy about the need to make peace with the past. Potentially neurosis-inducing problems (the curbing of ambition and dreams, the belief that elders know best, damaging superstitions) get the kid glove and soft-focus treatment.
Despite a fresh idea, Phillauri is a loosely-written film that fails to engross the audience. Most of the first half entertains in bits – only at times when Anushka makes you smile and cry, or when Phillauri (Diljit Dosanjh) and Shashi set the screens afire with their heart-warming chemistry.