Phillauri movie review: A light-hearted, promising story that meets a cliched ending | Bollywood Bubble

‘Phillauri’ movie review: A light-hearted, promising story that meets a cliched ending

Phillauri Anshai Lal
Rating: 2.5 out of 5

‘Phillauri’ movie review: A light-hearted, promising story that meets a cliched ending

phillauri movie review

Directed By: Anshai Lal
Produced By: Anushka Sharma, Karnesh Sharma, Fox Star Studios
Cast: Anushka Sharma, Diljit Dosanjh, Suraj Sharma, Mehreen Pirzada
Duration: 2 hours 18 mins
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 2.5/5

Right in 2017, it takes you courage to form a convincing story around a Ghost. Sitting inside the theatre, I was getting impatient for Anushka Sharma to arrive. The story flows as a delicious blend of humour and emotion and the friendly bhoot Shashi (Anushka Sharma) makes a comic entry too. I’ve started thinking what all I shall write in my ‘Phillauri’ movie review. Meanwhile, interval comes and goes and takes away whatever density was built!

‘Phillauri’ kickstarts as Kanan (Suraj Sharma) returns to India from Canada to marry his childhood love Annu (Mehreen Pirzada). Kanan, however, is a Manglik. For those uninitiated, it is a person with faulty position of Mars in his horoscope, as per astrology. Being the perfect Indian parents, Kanan’s mom-dad get him married to a tree as per an astrological solution. In that tree resides Anushka, the pretty and friendly ghost. So basically, Kanan was supposed to be married to a woman but is first married to a tree. But wait, there’s a woman in that tree so it’s accidentally a woman (or a bhootwoman) as well! The hilarious confusion makes for a chucklesome first half.

Anushka certainly has a history to share. That can be traced back to rural Punjab in the early 19th century, wherein Shashi, a poet in secrecy, falls in love with Rup Lal Phillauri, a singer.  Phillauri gives melody to Shashi’s phrases and creates songs. The year is 1919 and the spirit of independence is building up. One day, Phillauri leaves for Jalandhar to earn his name as a celebrated singer; but never returns.

The screenplay goes back and comes back to and from two different periods. It could go wrong (‘Baar Baar Dekho’ alert),  but it doesn’t. The shifts are swift. Rather, the major mess up happens in the second half as we are slowly in proximity to the climax. 98 years after her death, Shashi still doesn’t know why her beloved never returned. The entire span of her discovering the truth is dragged.

Next nail on the coffin is the ending. I was on my toes to catch the friendly ghost’s antics but never did I envisage, it could become a belated love story of ghosts! What was supposed to be an enormously emotional event, turned out funny. I ground my teeth as the audience around me laughed!

It saddens me how ‘Phillauri’ rather came across as cliched at the end. It fearures fantastic performance from Suraj Sharma and good enough of that from Anushka Sharma and Diljit Dosanjh. Mehreen needs to do something with her swollen baby-expressions, either angry or happy; and she is good to go. Beautiful music by Shaswat Sachdev and impactful background music by Sameer Uddin have uplifted the romance, tragedy and humour to many extents. But why a ghost love story at the end?

The next failure comes as the makers’ inability to bank upon the Jalianwala Bagh massacre (1919), which adds important angles to the story. Historical events had a crucial part to share, but were conveniently overlooked.

Although, it is undeniable that ‘Phillauri’ is a combination of many heart-warming emotions. There’s love, there’s heartbreak, there’s confusion, there’s this longing for togetherness, there’s the pang of separation. We wish Anshai Lal didn’t forcibly attempt to make it a perfectly happy ending. After all, life is never just happy.

The films deserves to be watched once for sure. Rest, your choice!



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Aiyaary movie review: The men in army fail to shine through the muddled up plot

Directed By: Neeraj Pandey
Produced By: Shital Bhatia, Dhaval Gada, Jayantilal Gada, Karan Shah
Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Manoj Bajpayee, Rakul Preet Singh, Pooja Chopra
Duration: 2 Hours 40 Minutes
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 2/5

After delivering taut thrillers like ‘A Wednesday’ and ‘Special 26’, hopes are high from his new outing ‘Aiyaary’, but does it manage to convey it’s message efficiently? Let’s unravel in the movie review…

‘Aiyaary’ (which means ultimate trickery), is about a young army officer named Captain Jay Bakshi (Sidharth Malhotra) who goes rogue with a hefty purpose to expose the dirty secrets of the military forces. His mentor Col. Abhay Singh (Manoj Bajpayee) is an incorruptible army man who heads a covert cell and guns down traitors. Ever since Major Jay Bakshi absconds, Col. Singh has only one mission, to hunt him down. Here begins a cat and mouse Chase although with loads of unwarranted confusion.

While Col. Singh believes himself to be the smarter one, Major Bakshi outsmarts him and he isn’t Alone, a nifty hacker in the form of Sonia helps him. Bakshi wants to expose the deadly misgivings of a retired army man played by Kumud Mishra who has grown corrupt and earns help from a businessman played by Adil Hussain. Does he succeed or does Bakshi manage to expose him? Does Singh manage to catch hold of his protégé gone rogue? Too many questions that could have been dealt with methodically, but everything goes down the drain with poor execution and unnecessarily over explained and stretched portions. The entire plot gets lost and confused with too many sequences jumbled up together which right till the end remain a mystery.

Manoj Bajpayee is the only standout in this muddled up, almost three hours long thriller. Sidharth Malhotra is decent while Rakul Preet Singh is fairly okay. Pooja Chopra is barely seen whereas all senior bunch of actors like Anupam Kher, Naseeruddin Shah, Kumud Mishra and Adil Hussain are utterly wasted with no clear character sketches drawn. Naseeruddin Shah’s dialogue delivery seems like a hangover from ‘A Wednesday’ whereas Anupam Kher is totally wasted. The only character that makes sense is Colonel Abhay Singh and Bajpayee rightfully delivers.

Overall, ‘Aiyaary’ is a complex and too stretched thriller with no clear direction of the happenings. Clearly avoidable.


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PadMan movie review: Story of an ordinary man who spun wonder out of life's straw

Directed By: R Balki
Produced By: Mrs Funnybones Movies, KriArj Entertainment, Cape of Good Films, Hope Productions, SPE Films India
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor, Radhika Apte
Duration: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

Bollywood Bubble Rating: 3/5

If you believe you can, you are halfway there. Parents use this therapy to their children who are sinking in schools and colleges. Just, they don’t tell you there would be teenage crushes, diet fads, breakups, insufficient pocket money and unbearable math classes. Was that too weird to begin my ‘PadMan’ review with?

Even before I begin analysing ‘PadMan’ as a film, I think films like these should be lauded just because they’re being made. That actors and filmmakers are using cinema as a tool to strike conversations, tickle thoughts and raise debates, itself is a relief; especially in a country of over 100 crores with numerous problems, most of them neither spoken nor understood.

The film is based on a Tamil Nadu based social activist who invented a low-cost sanitary napkin producing machine. Lakshmikant Chauhan, a man from an MP village, learns of rural women’s plight during menstruation after he is married to Gayatri (Radhika Apte)… Or, why am I even using ‘rural’ when the taboos are equally prevalent in urban spheres as well? Determined to bring more hygiene to how the women at his home handle periods but aware that they can’t afford to buy the sanitary napkins available in stores, he begins attempts of making them himself.

For every innovative idea, you’ve to pay a price. For Lakshmikant, it’s on the heavier side. In the course of communicating to women and understanding the problems better, he earns the tag of ‘loose character’. His two sisters and wife leave him. Devastated with the constant emotional ups and downs, he leaves his village; however, with the determination of succeeding at his attempts one day.

Rest shapes a man’s bumpy journey towards fulfilment. Not without hiccups, though.

Through the first half, we’re taken to visit how the revolutionist has to walk on thorns if he decides to mould the society’s behaviour. This portion, although necessary and paves way to the latter part, is dragged and feels longer than what it is.

In the latter part, as Lakshmikant nears his goal, enters Pari (Sonam Kapoor), a beautiful, intelligent and compassionate woman who becomes an indispensable of Lakshmikant’s journey. How a fresh MBA and a deserving candidate of a fat-paying corporate job leaves many prospects and sets off on a mission to help village women and spread health awareness on menstruation, is empowering, to say the least. BUT! Why would Bollywood necessarily instill romantic equations whenever we have a woman and a man playing equally crucial parts in the story’s development? That part feels not only forced, but also cliched.

Other than that, ‘PadMan’ is purely a testimony of a man’s journey from nothing to contentment; solely banking upon on his own desires of bringing about positive changes and helping them sustain. If you ignore a few exaggerations (and I fear I don’t have takers for saying this), it is an inspiring film and could create positive impacts. Decently shot by P.C. Sreeram and rightly complemented with soundtracks composed by Amit Trivedi, it features noticeable performances from both Radhika Apte and Akshay Kumar; and not to forget, a fluent Sonam Kapoor in a short yet pivotal role.

Watch ‘PadMan’ to encourage more films that talk about REAL problems; more real than fairytale love stories. 🙂 Even the real love stories are tested with bad times, remember? Like that of Lakshmikant and Gayatri.

Author’s Note: My first ever day as a menstruating girl? ‘Congratulations’ from mom, and a huge bowl of Mishti Doi after dinner. 🙂

Watch trailer:

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