wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)

quick review:

Some films mesmerize because they linger lyrically, beautifully. Others l-l-l-i-i-i-i-n-n-g-e-r in a way you wish it stops before you can say asap. Unfortunately, Phillauri is the latter.

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Director: Anshai Lal
Running time: 140 minutes
Genres: Revenge, Romance
More Movie Info

Phillauri - Preview

The first word that comes to mind when you see the trailer is “cute!” The concept, the characters, the visual effect. But, towards the end of those 3 minutes it comes across as a usual love story with some revenge-ish drama thrown in. Of course, there is a distinguishing factor in terms of a social message. Also, I am apprehensive about the whole ghost angle, because it is so easy to step into slapstick territory.

Even so, that Anushka Sharma is producing the film makes me look forward to the film. It is surely to have some substance. Even if I don't want every film to be a movie with a message, NH10, the other film she produced, gives a sense that the films she backs won't be flippant or superfluous.

Yep, looking forward to be entertained and moved.

Music Reviews:
Bollywood Hungama – "2.5/5"
Deccan Chronicle – "3/5"
Firstpost - "Phillauri offers a wide range of songs, out of which most come across as narrative tools"
Milliblog - "Shashwat is a talent to watch out for!"
Music Aloud – "3.5/5"

- meeta, a part of the audience

It is sad enough when you watch a feature length film and you don't see a story. Phillauri attempts two stories and neither has the strength of holding up by itself or to support the other. It is more upsetting than having watched two films without a story. Sure, the special effects are reasonably better than what we are used to in an average Hindi film that involves special effects. The story concept as brought out by the trailer is cute too. Alas, there is nothing more to go on.

...when the story doesn't move, social messages, satire, strong women, etc just don't seal the deal.

The cuteness or the humor seen in the trailer is pretty much all there is in the film. The few minutes before and after the said scene are just an unhealthy hyper-extention of the moment. This can be said pretty much about the entire film. I don't think I would be exaggerating if a scene where a couple hugs runs for about 5 minutes – Disney fairytale like score running in the background. This is true of the songs too. While the music is appropriately folklore-ish, the songs feel too long too.

When you are only waiting for this scene to be done with, so that the next can come and be done with, you can barely be taken over by performances. All the cast does what it has to do – Suraj Sharma stays confused, Mehreen Pirzada disappointed, Diljit Dosanjh smitten. Anushka Sharma's Sashi is the only character that can afford some variation in expression and she makes the most of it.

Along similar lines, when the story doesn't move, social messages, satire, strong women, etc just don't seal the deal. A story has to grip with its content or its presentation for any of this to matter. As you watch scene after scene overstay their welcome, you ultimately realise that nothing interesting is really going to happen. By the time, the big reveal(s) come about, you have guessed them and even as you guess, you aren't really enamored by any of it.

Movies like Phillauri make me wonder about talented actors, producers with a said vision, music, special effects – some bits underdone, some overdone and some like story – not done at all. And how not all departments put together can compensate for the one that is way off the mark.

- meeta, a part of the audience

35 reviewers(?) - 11 yays 11 so-so 13 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Rima Bhatia, Bolly Spice : ...Diljit Dosanjh steals show in this film with his earnest performance as Roop Lal... full review

Thumbs up, by ROHIT BHATNAGAR, Deccan Chronicle : ... Phillauri is a perfect watch this weekend which makes you laugh and cry... full review

Thumbs up, by smitavkumar , Desi Martini : ...The music of the movie is worth a mention and I think it will grow on me as I listen to the album more. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Rahul Bharadwaj , Desi Martini : ...Characters and the scenes between them are actually what keep Philauri watchable... full review

Thumbs up, by Rachit Gupta, Filmfare : ...As romances and comedies go, Phillauri requires a considerable amount of suspension of disbelief.... full review

Thumbs up, by Fatema Kagalwala, India Entertainment : ...The film is shot with a fablesque eye and evokes an almost mythical aura in its period as well as present production design suited to the fantasy world of the film. ... full review

Thumbs up, Indicine : ...Even if you are not in love with Anushka, Phillauri will still entertain you provided you’re open and receptive to all genres of movies.... full review

Thumbs up, by Surabhi Redkar, koimoi : ...The poetries of Phillauri are beautiful and blend well in the romance of the bygone era.... full review

Thumbs up, by Uday Bhatia, Live Mint : ...the metaphor will likely strike some as laboured, while others will find it apt and moving (I certainly did)... full review

Thumbs up, by IANS, Sify Movies : ...While the screenplay oscillates between the present and Punjab during pre-independence period, the scenes bring out the contrast in the culture.... full review

Thumbs up, by Ritika Handoo, Zee News : ...You will love the parts in the first half where Anushka Sharma as Shashi spooks the hell out of Kanan.... full review

So-So, by Samedha Arora , Desi Martini : ...The setting of bronze countryside becomes eye pleasing where Shashi and her lover add a pinch of flair in their lapsed epoch. ... full review

So-So, by Anna MM Vetticad, FirstPost : ...All this takes a while to sink in though because Lal takes too long to get to the point. ... full review

So-So, by Vaishnavi Kulkarni , : ...The movie starts out with a dream sequence that gives you second-hand embarrassment - and it is a testament to how truly awful Suraj Sharma's acting as Kanan is ... full review

So-So, by Manjusha Radhakrishnan, Gulf News : ...It’s cute at first, but you need to be patient with this pair.... full review

So-So, by Sweta Kaushal, Hindustan Times : ...The incidents of Kanan’s marriage and the flip-flop between the two love stories make the film rather disjointed.... full review

So-So, by Mohar Basu, MiD DAY : ...Post-interval, the film picks pace as we are sucked into the romance of the old-world couple... full review

So-So, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...Debutant director Anshai Lal sticks to the tropes by weaving in the lighter scenes with chest-beating drama to ensure the proceedings don't turn too overwhelming... full review

So-So, by Rajeev Masand, : ...Despite some nice moments between Diljit and Anushka and the distinctly earthy songs, this track unfortunately ends up feeling like a slog ... full review

So-So, by Nandini Ramnath, : ...Anshai Lal’s directorial debut plonks the idea of an inadvertent wedding between a human and a ghost (borrowed from the 2005 animated movie Corpse Bride) ... full review

So-So, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...Anushka Sharma’s Shashi is a ghost you fall in love with. Hers is a story that has the heft to make you feel and root for the lovers. ... full review

So-So, by Nihit Bhave, Times of India : ...The actors sweep in and carry the film, though. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks : ...just when you are ready to reject the film as a big disappointment, it comes up with a well-conceived twist and successfully manages to bring you back... full review

Thumbs down, Bollywood Hungama : ...Full marks to the film’s cinematographer (Vishal Sinha) for turning the film into a visual delight. - See more at: full review

Thumbs down, by Sreeju Sudhakaran, Bollywood Life : ...Kanan and Anu’s track gets a slipshod conclusion... full review

Thumbs down, by Tushar Joshi , DNA : ... full review

Thumbs down, by Johnson Thomas , Free Press Journal : ...The pace is dippy and the narrative is pretty much uneventful even with the humour lacing it. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Vishal Verma, : ...The VFX is fine and the Song 'Sahiba' by Romi and Pawni Pandey is hummable.... full review

Thumbs down, by Devarsi Ghosh , india today : need solid plot developments to fill the rest of the ninety minutes. This, Phillauri lacks... full review

Thumbs down, by Jaidev Hemmady , Movie Talkies : ...If you are in the mood for a funny ghost story, we suggest you stick to Dabid Koepp's Ghost Town... full review

Thumbs down, by Raja Sen, NDTV : ...Watching the film I wondered what it was trying to preach, since - like a bad street-play - it is too self-serious and portentous to not have a moral. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Manisha Lakhe, Now : ...When the end finally comes upon the audience, the feeling of ... full review

Thumbs down, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...Lal tosses in a fair bit of quirk. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Namrata Joshi, The Hindu : ...Boring past, inane present ... full review

Thumbs down, by Karan Bali, Upper Stall : ...The technicalities are fine. The music gels well with the film... full review

18 tweeters(?) - 15 yays 0 so-so 3 nays

vishwasgautam: #Phillauri is not a film, it is an experience. Well Done Team @AnushkaSharma @diljitdosanjh

vineets05063009: Just when I thought I can not love @AnushkaSharma more,and she comes up with phillauri and proves me wrong. She is beyond brilliant.

tdagia_: I think Roop Lal Phillauri will stay in our hearts for a while, he won't leave that easily! @diljitdosanjh

Shashalsahu: phillauri is different movie, different story.. not a traditional love story, splendid performance by @AnushkaSharma @diljitdosanjh...

ShahidsPanda: #Phillauri is so beautiful and emotional and funny

mahwish1D: if you believe in true love then this movie if for you ❤ #phillauri @diljitdosanjh

jayantibhayana: #Phillauri - one amazing movie!! @AnushkaSharma @diljitdosanjh its a beautiful movie

imrannist: Watched #Phillauri & it's great story. Love it. Thank You @AnushkaSharma

immonotosh: #Phillauri is such a fresh film. Well done @AnushkaSharma @diljitdosanjh @ImSurajSharma

garimaneeraj: Just saw #Phillauri truly amazing movie that make u laugh and cry at the same of the finest performance of @AnushkaSharma

Divvya_Tarot: #Phillauri is a pleasant experience with @diljitdosanjh almost choking us with emotions

bhagyashree3425: Hello diljit paaji and anushka ji #Phillauri ...kya movie hai... Kadak

balwan24x7: Saw #Phillauri Today, such a Beautiful Movie, like a Fairy-Tale!!! @AnushkaSharma you Rockxx Great Work by @diljitdosanjh and #SurajSharma

anshul_atreya: #Phillauri it's an awesome love story... Rula diya yr..@AnushkaSharma

ammu_lis: Saw #Phillauri it was such a nice family film. I really loved it. @AnushkaSharma u have done a great job...

SpunkySana: #Phillauri too spoofy to feel like a drama and too mournful to be funny.... so thank diljit to save u…

smileyalee29: Phillauri has been watched. Tbh, its boring Suraj sharma's parts were good, Shashi's flashback is just plain boring OVERRATED

MilanKumar1000: Sorry @diljitdosanjh i didnt like ur #Phillauri.I think since ur followers love u unconditionally they are giving high rating. Ntpaisavasool

3 readers - 2 yays 1 so-so 0 nays

Not Interested in Watching, by fanofcfc8 : Blahhh...

Want to Watch, by TimELiebe : Looks Enjoyable

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Cinema Rack

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Fan

So-So, by Sonia

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: One scene with one person beating another one up
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: One making out scene. And a scene which implies pre-marital pregnancy.
  • Concept: A ghost seeks relief from being trapped in the after world.
  • General Look and Feel: A contrast of sepia-toned early 1900s with bright and cheerful times of today.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Phillauri - Cast, crew, links

Background Score:
Music Director:
Costume Designer:
Running time:
140 minutes

Comments (6)

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Not very impressive, no need to watch this flick in theaters.

I think we'd like it better than you did, Meeta - but yes, I can sort of see why it's not your cup of chai.

FYI, I went looking for you on FB to give you this link to read! I think you should be very proud, as an Hindustani Woman.... :)


Meeetttuuu..."Life" or "Anarkali of Arah' ....definitely "catch it on dvd for sure" or "The keen must watch on screen; else DVD"

I seriously thought you would choose Swara over anushka...u know what ? ....we need a "review on demand" option :D

@fanofcfc8 I know! Theaters playing it too far away and there's risk of show being cancelled or me being one of 2-3 people watching. So didn't go. Hopefully, will be out on TV/Net and I can watch it then.

@TimELiebe yep! Thank you :)


One’s art and fame should not be wasted on trivial and vulgar matters but should be used for the benefit of mankind.

Phillauri as a cinematic journey can be split into 3 equal parts. The first part is your typical modern day comic caper built around a Big Punjabi wedding. The last part is steeped in emotions, varying from love, fraternity, patriotism, respect, etc. The middle part is the one that flounders and leaves you with a “could have been better” feeling.

Phillauri at the heart is a love film. It has been nicely woven into modern days concepts of love, contrasted with love of age gone by. The comic concept of a friendly ghost is also quite a creative and interesting idea. The idea in itself has lot of scope for making a full-fledged film, reminded heavily of Peter Ustinov in Blackbeard’s Ghost (recycled and heavily Indianized as Chamatkar for the Hindi world). But Phillauri uses that concept of the friendly ghost as a vehicle to narrate another story. A story that seems pointless and meandering along, with the heavy Punjabi dialogues not helping the situation a lot neither. But once you sit through this part, the story eventually grips you and involves you in the happenings as it reaches the climax. I felt that the scene which followed the climax and the revealing of the suspense was dragged on for a long time – probably the director got too carried away in the spur of the moment, but then alright it goes away eventually.

Coming to my starting statement, it very much resumes my point against established industry names like YRF and Dharma – who instead of using their fame on different but meaningful films are wasting away their resources on trivial and vulgar subjects. On the other hand film makers like Kashyaps and Bharadwajs are wasting away their art and fame on arrogant and irresponsible film making. That is where Anushka Sharma needs to be lauded as a producer. She is slowly but surely carving out a name for herself via “different from the rest” and yet significant films like NH10 and Phillauri. And I am ready to overlook the less than interesting middle portions of the film to give brownie points to her as a producer, and wish to encourage her to continue making good films. I had never thought that I would eagerly await the 3rd production from Anushka Sharma. Way to go girl.

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