The high-chords struck by Phillauri’s trailer do certainly take your thoughts captive but alas, the execution fails, falling many levels down your expectations. The second production under the extremely talented Anushka Sharma is an intermittent and parallel run between the present and the past, set in the village ‘Phillaur’(Punjab).
The movie kicks with Kanan (Suraj Sharma) having an extreme nightmare while he is on his way to India from Canada to get married to his high-school sweetheart Anu (Mehreen Pirzada). His parents convolute the process as they force Kanan to marry a tree (Oh, the Manglik reasons!), and in turn this brings in the first twist of our story. The tree was residence for Shashi (Anushka Sharma), a beautiful and too glittery (Believe you me!) ghost. The rest is the juggling story between past and present as how they try to figure out to liberate Shashi of this human realm, so that the not-so-sure marriage of Kanan and Anu can take place.
Suraj Sharma is frantic with fear throughout the movie, which is supposed to be an element of comedy and banter, but clearly fails miserably. While Mehreen is seen as a supportive and helpless Girlfriend who does experiment a bit too much with her voice modulation, on the other hand Anushka delivers a beautiful performance though not her best, definitely. The best fit to the movie is Diljit Dosanjh, who is the hero that makes love to our heroine Anushka. His looks and performance do convince the spectators. Though, a little too unrealistic for 1919, the romance is overwhelming and the chemistry is intense and tangible. The flashbacks are the only high-points of the movie. To a far extent, justice is done to re-create the old Punjab and captures the attention, unlike other times when you turn too quick-tempered for the scene to end. Some unnecessary melodrama is sprinkled like confetti in and around. The typically liquor-indulgent grandmother is sure an amusement to watch. Weird humour is set-off between the families as they try to reconcile the difference between the couple. Manav Vij, as Anushka’s brother is more than promising to his role. Other actors like Raza Murad share a less screen space, but make an impact.
The songs are aptly placed in the movie. The elements of cinematography & lyrics are impressive but the melody is not successful in making an indelible print on your mind. ‘Bajaake Tumba’ gives Diljit (The kohl-eyed man perfectly embracing his Punjabi look) a bold entry and ‘Dum Dum’ as a sufi love song will mesmerize your senses, while it showcases the blossoming love between our lead couple. ‘Sahiba’ will surely echo in your mind even after you step out the theatres.
Not the best locations or dialogues are chosen to suit a particular scene, leaving not much takeaways with you. The conception of the movie as an idea in mind seems distinctive and assuring, but does not reflect completely in the visual form. The climax does offer some excitement in the room but soon turns into an inappropriate selection of events. As a light family movie, you might pick it as one-time watch or on a nothing-to-weekend, it may be your one of the few resorts. Otherwise, you may watch ‘Corpse Bride’, the animated film, from which the movie seems inspired. We just hoped more from this heart-warming film; nevertheless, it is still a treat to the eyes!