Verdict: Anushka is the most sensible ghost wife ever.
After the success of NH10 (2015), Anushka Sharma is back with her second venture as a producer and this time she is playing a friendly ghost named Shashi who accidentally gets married to a human. Phillauri is set in the modern and traditional Punjab with the script moving back and forth in time.
It starts with Kanan (Suraj Sharma) coming back to India after three years of stay in Canada to marry his childhood love Anu (Mehreen Kaur Pirzada). After a deep study of their stars, Panditji concludes that Kanan is Manglik and he should marry a tree before marrying Anu if he wants to lead a happy life. He agrees to marry a tree after being pressurized by almost the entire family and coincidentally marries the same tree Shashi's (Anushka Sharma) spirit was haunting since nearly a century. Confused and scared after realizing he has a ghost wife, he ends us upsetting his real wife. Now he has to figure out a way to get rid of the ghost and to make up his mind about this marriage.
While all this happens in the present, Shashi reminisces her past when she was alive and prettier. She used to stay in a village called Phillaur with her brother, where everyone was crazy about a guy's (played by Diljit Dosanjh) voice and singing, obviously except Shashi and her elder brother. Only till she meets him and inspires him to move away from the meaningless songs to meaningful poetry. They fall in love.
Like her last venture, Anushka has once again chosen the right talent over known faces. The film stars Suraj Sharma of the Life of Pi fame and the beautiful Mehreen Kaur Pirzada who fits just right as a Punjabi bride. Both of them are not only good looking but also good actors. They have contributed to major part of the comedy in the movie. The flashback sequences are shot in sepia tone and give you a feel of the typical pre-independence era. The present, however, is all about a typical Punjabi family wedding, a beautiful and loving bride, and a very confused groom.
The film is about two love stories who are on the verge of their happily ever after but face last minute difficulties. The story moves back and forth in time and shows you the glimpse of Punjab today and almost a century back. You get to see the natural, vibrant beauty that Punjab is. It will remind you of the mustard fields of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. Where in the present, there is a lavish Punjabi wedding with a cool grandmom who wouldn't call a 9 am whisky drink as "early morning drinking", parents who are ready to welcome the groom in pink t-shirts because their daughter wants it to be like that, the past shows a protective elder brother trying to wed his daughter-like sister to a deserving guy. In the difference of time, one thing that will put a smile on your face is the love and acceptance of the families.
Anushka Sharma is a natural when it comes to acting. Here too, she has done a great job as a ghost as well as a human. She looks hauntingly beautiful throughout the film. It is, somehow, difficult to get over that fact. Some ghostly effect maybe? Diljit Dosanjh, on the other hand, complements her with his nirmohi avatar. He plays a singer who initially sings to swoon women and to get admiration from his fans. But as you try to get over the prettiness of the frame composition (with Anushka, Diljith, and Punjab in one frame), Diljit goes through a makeover because he falls in love with Shashi. Their onscreen chemistry is something to look forward to.
It is pretty evident from the trailer that Diljit's character is a singer and hence you get to witness a lot of folk melodies. Songs will keep coming throughout the movie including nifty numbers like Dum Dum and Sahiba. There is also some romantic poetry added to all the music and things just keep getting better.
A film is not only about the faces and acting and the team of this film understands that well. The film has been getting a lot of applaud for the special effects and it stands up to the expectations. The angelic touch to the ghost version of Anushka's character gives the film the charm of a fairy tale. Anshai Lal's debut as a director, along with the team, is for the win. The production quality and camera work is incredible as well.
When it comes to a fantasy movie, you mostly expect a fairy tale and this films serves you with something exactly like that, with the help of love, romance, and comedy.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Anushka's second film as a producer is more than just another rom-com, with an add-on ghost. If you're an Anushka fan, you can just go watch the movie for her pretty face, she's looking amazing. If you're a Diljit fan, you can go for the same reason as well. Apart from that, go watch the movie to entertain yourself with a sweet fantasy for two and a half hours.
P.S. If you're proud of your knowledge of Indian History, this film will give you a reality check.