There are certain stories that seem great on paper, but as it moves on to the screenplay and the direction stage, they end up falling way short of the charm that it carried as a story. Phillauri is one such film.
The premise, I must repeat is hugely interesting. Kannan (Suraj Sharma) is a reluctant bridegroom back from Canada to tie the knot with his childhood sweetheart Anu (Mehreen Pirzada). But since he's manglik, he is forced to marry a tree before his actual wedding to his bride. And before he knows it, he's saddled with Shashi's ghost (Anushka Sharma), who insists that he's married to her along with the tree.
Shashi of course, has a back story of a failed love story with a singer (Daljit Dosanjh).
This could have been a great premise for a laugh a minute riot or even an emotional roller coaster ride. But unfortunately, the slow, meandering self indulgent direction and the lazy screenplay makes it a rather dreary watch.
The debut director Anshai lal brings out the contrast between the pre electricity era of early 20th century and the boisterous Punjabi family of 2017 very well. However, the inconsistency of the screenplay and direction leads to one being disconnected with what's going on on the screen. Lal spends too much time focusing over certain things, but leaves a lot of necessary things unexplained. His central characters do what they please and the other peripheral characters are involved only according to the script's convenience.
Anushka is good, Diljit Dosanjh is wonderful. Suraj Sharma and South Indian actress Mehreen Peerzada show their competence and perhaps would have done better if their characters had more depth.
Rating: 3 stars