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Cliches Masquerade As Quirky Concepts In Phillauri Trailer

Really, we expected much from the trailer of Anushka Sharma’s second home production. Phillauri does have plenty going on . But it has little going for itself.

It is a beehive of activity with a beautiful ghost played by Anushka Sharma hounding a nerdy NRI(played bySuraj Sharma of Life Of Pi fame) while a gaggle of relatives and freeloaders add to the progressively increasing volume of intended vitality.

Sharma is clearly the poor man’s Dev Patel. Throughout the trailer he is a screechy whiny mass of bewilderment. something like Om Vaidya in 3 Idiots, hopefuly without getting  balaatkar mixed up with  kalaakar.

Suraj Sharam clearly can’t come to terms with being accosted  by  a ghost. Hopefully , we can when the film releases.

This is rural Punjab. We all know what that means. There will be noisy revellers, a whole lotta head-banging Bhangra ,wide- open spaces filled with colour…the works.And  if it is Punjab there is bound to be that mandatory shot of the Golden Temple.And guess what? Female fans of  Diljit Dosanjh get a bonus because they get Punjab’s superstar to emerge from the holy waters of the Golden Temple. Dosanjh clearly wants to slot himself as  India’s first turbaned stud. Our best wishes to him.

If Dosanjh is a stud on demand he  is also a singer by choice . As the roving ghost’s past love we see him wandering across spaces  inPhillauri with a song on his lips and an ektara in his hands.

Just how all of this fits into the comic cosmos of a film that is eager to show us its quirky side, only time will tell.

In the meanwhile the trailer leaves us with a sense of infuriating incompleteness. There are seeds  of novelty in the plot. But the intended humour is way too predictable. The intended novelty of a nerd accidentally married to  a ghost in a tree somehow gets frittered in  a free-for-all of frisky romantic yearnings.

Going by the  trailer it seems doubtful that first-time director AnshaiLal has been able to hold together the slippery satirical strands of the whimsical rural fable. But miracles do happen. We have one in the film.

A ghost released from a tree that the nerdy NRI is persuaded to marry because he is maanglik.

Not sure though whether mocking superstition actually helps us to understand why its exists, let alone eradicate it.

Trailer rating: **(2 stars)

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