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Badrinath Bansal from Jhansi and Vaidehi Trivedi from Kota belong to small towns but have diametrically opposite opinions on everything. This leads to a clash of ideologies, despite both of them recognizing the goodness in each other.
Set in the small-town of Bareilly, Bitti is a free-spirited young girl who lives life on her own terms and refuses to be pressured into getting married. Her life takes a shift when she meets Chirag Dubey and Pritam Vidrohi.
A young Mangalik boy is supposed to marry a tree if he wants to marry a girl of his choice while the tree which he gets married has Shashi a ghost residing on it waiting for her lover.Shashi starts to follow him everywhere after he marries the tree. Written by
Last week we saw the release of 'Beauty and the Beast,' a fairy tale romance with magical elements. Interestingly this week's Hindi release 'Phillauri' is a fairy tale in its own right. Phillauri is a brave movie because we don't tend to give stories that stray from the norm an equal chance. We call them different or 'hatke' and that defines their success. It doesn't matter if they're good or bad because they're termed as different and set aside. Phillauri is unique, certainly, but aren't all good movies?
Anushka Sharma was the youngest actor-producer in Bollywood when we she decided to back and act in 2015's 'NH10'- a courageous decision and even braver film. Two years later she's back with her second outing as producer with Phillauri. While polar opposite to NH10 in terms of story and tone, the bravery is still present. First, if you never saw NH10, do. And then give Phillauri a chance.
Phillauri begins with a young groom, Kanan, (played by Suraj Sharma) forced to marry a tree because he's 'mangilk' (possibly cursed) before he can marry his longtime girlfriend. While both families are relatively modern thinking, superstition runs deep. Soon after his nuptials with said tree he's haunted by a ghost named Shashi (Anushka Sharma) who claims he married her and not the tree. These first few moments evoke a few chuckles. The plot is slow to pick up but eventually tells us about the ill fated romance of Shashi and Phillauri (Diljit Dosanjh) in early 1900s Punjab. The movie tells two vastly different stories about a present day couple having wedding jitters and star-crossed lovers from a time long gone. Personally, I enjoyed the scenes in Punjab tremendously. Anushka and Diljit share an easy chemistry and both are incredibly likable in the movie. The present day portion isn't anything special but watching the couple be 'haunted' by Shashi is amusing enough.
Lead actor and producer Anushka Sharma walks away with the meatiest role and does full justice to her part. You're rooting for Shashi the whole way. Diljit Dosanjh, who we last saw in Udta Punjab, is equally convincing as a carefree singer who wears his heart of his sleeve. Suraj Sharma of Life of Pi fame and newcomer Mehreen Pirzada, who plays his fiancé, are fine in their respective roles but don't leave a lasting impact.
First time director Anshai Lal is unpolished but handles a few sequences well. The music is a highlight and gels perfectly with the screenplay. Every song is heavily influenced by Punjabi folk music which might not appeal to everyone but I've been listening to and enjoying the soundtrack for a few weeks now. The portions in Punjab are shot with great care and the flavor and culture is enchanting.
You may have seen pictures of Shashi the friendly ghost making appearances all over the world and throughout history as part of the Phillauri promotional campaign. It was a brilliant marketing strategy that stays true to the nature of the film. Honestly, the promotional campaign was better executed but this is still a light and feel-good movie that blends old fashioned romance with a fairy tale narrative. Watch it for Anushka and Diljit who light up the screen with their charm. And kudos to Ms. Sharma, please continue breaking barriers and taking risks.