Director: Anshai Lal
Cast: Anushka Sharma, Diljit Dosanjh, Suraj Sharma, Mehreen Pirzada
Love is eternal. Phillauri proves it through its light-hearted and interesting story which displays the romance from two different periods yet the magic remains the same.
Take the present situation: Kanan (Suraj Sharma) is a DJ in Canada and has come to Punjab, his hometown to marry his love interest Anu (Mehreen Pirzada). The fun starts when Kanan finds a ghost surrounding him. This ghost aka Shashi (Anushka Sharma) has her own troubled past which she needs to solve. Now, we go back to another time where we meet Shashi and Phillauri (Diljit Dosanjh). Phillauri is a local popular singer and entertainer. This is a powerful love story between Shashi and Phillauri and how music flourishes the affection and romance for them.
Written by Anvita Dutt, Phillauri is rich and complete in terms of what it tries to show. The weddings of today’s generation, ghostly fun and the core narrative of Shashi-Phillauri is penned down in a manner that generates interest. The screenplay during the musical displays of Phillauri, Shashi’s anger towards him and the power of poetry are smoothly scripted. This is a tale that is made strong by the beautiful words which bring the love birds together so those words and context have to be compelling and that’s what Anvita Dutt does as a writer.
Anshai Lal has made his debut as a director through the film and he has delivered a lovely story. He handled the narrative confidently but didn’t try to overdo it. The first few minutes of the film are a bit dull with the fun part becoming too stretched. Once, Shashi’s story starts unfolding, it is a delight to watch. Shashi’s love for poetry and its purity gives a defining support for her character. Diljit’s entry is worth witnessing with the music rising profoundly. Anshai Lal understood the vitality of music in the film as it is integral to Phillauri’s storyline. He used the songs brilliantly and at a right time.
Image Source: Fox Star Hindi
Coming to the characters, Kanan as DJ was not really convincing. He never looked like a DJ and that too, from Canada. He was shown very soft. Shashi was amazing as ghost and her real contribution as a matured person who enjoys the divine power of poetry and her love for Phillauri is vigorously directed. Phillauri as a local careless singer and then his transformation into a respectable singer was executed perfectly.
The second half is more intense. From Shashi-Phillauri’s liking for each other to the best song of the movie – Sahiba’s picturization, Lal wins it through his camera. Phillauri is a film that gives a simple message of love and the concept never changes no matter which era and time period we are living in. What it does appreciably is that it doesn’t try to over-smart the message but it preserves the beauty of it.
The movie could not have been memorable without the music. Shashwat Sachdev’s music imparts a magical essence to Phillauri. ‘Sahiba’ is so pleasingly composed and its value in the film is elemental when Diljit is singing. Another mention-worthy song is Dum Dum. It lets you witness the innocence of love of Shashi-Phillauri. Cinematography and production design have done their part well to make us believe that we are into a different time.
Anushka Sharma is constantly climbing the success ladder in Bollywood and she deserves it. Two roles she delivered here: One of the fun ghost who keeps the film entertaining and other, more important, is of a strong woman, deeply in love with both, a man and the poetry. The confidence she carries is outstanding. The chemistry between her and Diljit Dosanjh is mind blowing. Her silent avatar in front of her brother yet her undying passion for music and then her longing for her love is impressive. Diljit Dosanjh’s performance is stunning in the film. His rockstar entry, his dominating singing and his journey is enacted remarkably. It’s amazing to see how he is showing his mettle in acting. After Udta Punjab, he has taken his acting talent to a higher notch. I loved how he brought the zeal while he sings Sahiba during the recording.
‘Life of Pi’ actor Suraj Sharma is a good addition in the cast. He never seemed like a DJ but that’s director’s fault, otherwise his constant fear of ghost, confused about his future and his conversations with Shashi’s ghost are ticklish. He is a good actor. Mehreen Pirzada looks sweet as Kanan’s would-be-wife. She justifies her role although she doesn’t have much screen time.
Phillauri is a musical love tale that is beautiful and valuable. Anushka Sharma and Diljit Dosanjh prove their worth with quality performances. The music is rich in Punjabi culture and Anshali Lal’s direction is impressive.