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“PHILLAURI” is bland and pointless!

It starts off on a promising note, as a satire on the age-old tradition of horoscope-matching for marriages, but almost immediately loses track and retires into being a strictly mediocre love-story switching between times. Sadly, it’s a classic case of missed opportunity, even more so as it wastes some really fine actors. Avoidable!

The Story: Born under an unlucky star, Kanan (Suraj Sharma) is told he must marry a tree before he can wed his childhood sweetheart, as the ritual will cleanse him of his bad luck. Grudgingly, he agrees. To his shock, he finds himself being trailed by an unearthly spirit known as Shashi (Anushka Sharma), who used to live in the tree. The bewildered spirit now finds herself trapped in the human realm, and Kanan must help her return to her own realm.

It’s hard to believe how the very talented team that was behind “NH-10” could’ve produced such an ordinary product. I assume they got so excited with the basic idea itself (boy marrying a tree and then getting followed by the tree ghost) that they failed to put in any thought over the rest of the story. The remaining story, that shows parallel scenes from times that are nearly 100 years apart, bears the brunt of uninspired writing coupled with a totally predictable plot. The screenplay is so frail and uninteresting that you restlessly await the end after the half-way mark. Frankly, the film is a drag, something that was least expected of such a genre.

Thankfully, the CGI is seamless and equally impressive is the look and feel of the flashback set in the year 1919. While the overall storyline goes over the top, it’s last scene that goes way past comprehension and is worthy of every ridicule it garners. The conflicts are usually clichéd and in the end they also link the plot to an important event in Indian History, mainly to draw emotions. The songs are good, although they never rise above the usual benchmark. Writer Anvita Dutt clearly seems to have run out of ideas post the tree-marriage scene and Anshai Lal’s direction seems a tad heavy-handed.

As mentioned above, you see some fine actors at play here. An actor as excellent as Anushka Sharma is wasted in an insipid role. Like most other characters in the film, her part is ill-defined. Nevertheless, she still manages to smoothly sail the film to its destination, and if the film at all qualifies as ‘watchable’, it’s solely because of her. Diljit Dosanjh has never been so inconsequential in a film, but whatever little he’s asked to do, he does it flawlessly. Suraj Sharma is good in the role of a befuddled groom-to-be, but he too suffers from the pointlessness of the overall product. Rest of the cast is adequate.

In all, with the funny idea at hand, PHILLAURI could’ve been a laugh riot, alas, it never quite rises above the ordinary to leave any mark whatsoever. Eventually it is a strictly average film that can be easily missed.

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