A quintessential Punjabi household in Amritsar, a young son returning from abroad (obviously Canada), and a big fat wedding with all the loud song & dance, and alcohol. Well, that is just how Phillauri starts. But despite maintaining all the stereotypes of a millennial love story and the usual wedding backdrop, Phillauri is fresh and explorative!
The trailer tells you that Shashi (Anushka Sharma) is a friendly ghost, who is unintentionally following our groom-to-be Kanan (Suraj Sharma) around the wedding house by the virtue of an age-old Hindu custom of marrying a tree. Unfortunately, the first half will be spent building up to this well-revealed premise. The pace is calm and unrushed, with intermittent amusing moments that keep you hooked if not glued. Everything is set in a warmer tone, which is very soothing for an audience, change sake. Though the first half does not lead to anything concrete, but it ensures you smile through it.
The second half is where the parallel narrative in a picturesque backdrop of Phillaur gains momentum. The story moves back and forth from the earthen and subtle romance of Shashi & Phillauri (Diljit Dosanjh) set in 1919 to the eccentricities of a modern relationship, 2018. The old- world charm vs the new-age emotional imbalance, both have been handled with care.
The comic interludes are few and sparse, but admirable. Two beautiful compositions – Dum Dum and Sahiba add flavour to the story, which could tend to be bland.
Suraj Sharma maintains a baffled look throughout the story which works brilliantly for him. Mehreen Pirzada also shines within the limited scope of her role. Diljit once again proves his mettle with an honest and almost flawless performance. Anushka clearly holds the half-cooked pieces of the story, bringing together a heartwarming piece of work.
Except for a 20-minute drag in the climax full of VFX and lack of detail at some places, Phillauri is cute, honest and works as an excellent breather.