Phillauri is just another Bollywood flick which uses comedic undertone to pitch the same old story of two people falling in love and not making it together, but retold in a slightly different manner. The movie starts with a mid 20s Punjabi guy Kanan (Suraj Sharma), a generic rich guy, flying back from Canada (because he is Punjabi), to marry his childhood lover in a big fat Punjabi wedding. Kanan comes to know that he is maanglik and he needs to marry a tree to remove “the fault in his stars” to marry Anu.
The film takes a turn when Kanan in a quite unsurprising and most spectral way realises that he is bound to a ghost (Anushka Sharma). In his directorial debut, Anshai Lal shows parallels between two love stories set in the present and in pre independence era respectively. Shashi, the ghost (Anushka Sharma) is sister of a respected doctor who is quite conservative and has sacrificed a lot to raise her (obviously). Shashi, in the most stereotypical way falls for the village’s so called stud Roop Lal Phillauri (Diljit Dosanjh), the same dour social construct failing to bring the newness in the love story. When her brother finds out that she has been dating the Phillauri, the love story takes a turn in the most unpredictable way possible as the guy decides to become a respectable singer to win her brother’s approval.
Switching to the present time, the scenes between the ghost and the couple (Kanan and Anu) are hilarious and amusing and actors have done a decent job. The character of Anushka Sharma tries to play around gender conventions but as usual it lacks the depth and it makes the public wonder that Bollywood has been trying to break stereotypes for a long time that breaking stereotype has become a label in itself.
The movie tries to stand out from the generic love stories but marinates in the same mediocrity. Anushka Sharma’s second motion picture as a producer didn’t live up to the standards set up by NH 10. There are many plot holes which will make you wonder and ignore them at the same time like when Anu’s grandmother shows them, her Vinyl collection and finds them a record from 1919, the same year Jallianwala Bagh happened, she singlehandedly remembers the incident as she herself has witnessed it, that is 98 years back so exactly how old is she?Though that guy from Life of Pi was a let down, Anushka Sharma and Diljit Dosanjh managed to shine in their roles and got into the character’s skin. The director’s efforts are visible as he does a good job in keeping the movie together.
Overall the movie is a simple story with some comedic innuendos, and is worth your time only if you are not expecting some ingenious story telling.