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Movie Phillauri breaks records on Day One

North India and Punjab on fire! Spreading faster

·         Why Phillauri will make Anushka Sharma a producer to reckon with
·         Feels to have Found a Long-term Goal for her on Producing the movie

Phillauri collected 4.02 crore nett on Day One to set up multiple records. Its first day collections are higher than Kahaani [Rs. 3 crore] (Kolkata), Tanu Weds Manu [Rs. 3.2 crore] (Kanpur), NH10 [Rs. 3.35 crore] (Gurgaon) and Sarbjit [Rs. 3.69 crore] (Tarn Taran – Punjab) which had a localized appeal and had an actress as the central protagonist. For a unique concept film and a fun, family entertainer like Phillauri, it is a very good start.

The story of day one is the huge contribution from North India and Punjab given the strong chemistry of its lead pair Anushka & Diljit. This unique pairing has been loved by all. Diljit's superstardom in this belt takes this up several notches. North India has contributed 52 percent of the total Phillauri collections! Punjab collections are as high as how big A-list Bollywood stars collect in this state which is outstanding!

Producers Vijay Singh, CEO, Fox Star Studios and Karnesh Sharma of Clean Slate Films say, "Phillauri is a high concept film with a big heart and we are happy with the start that it has had on day one. The film has good word of mouth and it will grow today. It is a fun, family entertainer and a perfect weekend watch for audiences across all age-groups."

The cost of Phillauri makes it a profitable venture. The film was made at a cost of 21 crore and has already recovered 12 crore from satellite and music rights. With only 9 crore to recover before the film release, this start of Phillauri only bolsters its profitability.

Phillauri star Anushka Sharma must be lauded for being a producer of substance, one who is not backing large, mindless projects with just bankable faces, but one who is investing in the right writers, filmmakers and technicians to deliver good films.

More than talent in the Indian film industry, we need good producers. Because talent needs capital to bloom.

Herein comes Anushka Sharma. You all know her. A most successful actor who made her Bollywood debut in a Yash Raj Films' production, no less, opposite Shah Rukh Khan. She is the girlfriend of one of the world's best cricketers right now, Virat Kohli. She makes it to the headlines every other day for reasons, both related and unrelated to her work. She is also a good producer.

Producing NH10 and Phillauri has been a creatively satisfying experience for Anushka Sharma and the actress says she wants to continue making movies that "push the envelope".
"It's a very exciting time for me. I think I have found a long-term goal for me. It is the most creatively satisfying experience to collaborate on a film from start to the end. "The idea is to push the envelope. I want to push the boundaries of what we understand about movies. There are so many entertaining and interesting things that can be done in this format. The power of cinema is really huge," Anushka said in an interview.
The actress, who runs the production house Clean Slate Films with brother Karnesh, says they like to call themselves a start-up. While NH10 was a hard-hitting drama, Phillauri, in which the actress will be seen in the role of a friendly spirit, Shashi, is a love story spanning generations. Anushka says she decided to produce the movie by newcomer Anshai Lal on the basis of its premise -- an NRI, Mangalik boy, ending up with a ghost after he is forced to marry a tree just before his actual wedding.

"Existence of ghosts is a matter of belief but we have taken a leap of faith. We imagined a friendly one who is as scared of human beings as human beings are of her.
"Also, the premise of a boy marrying a tree and ending up with a ghost was interesting. We could tell a love story in this backdrop. We were able to create a beautiful cinematic moment," says Anushka.

The 28-year-old actress says she could understand her character of Shashi as Lal's writing was very good. "With a character like this, you can't attach too many elements to prop it up. When I understand a character, I can feel for it. And I understood where Shashi was coming from. I could understand her security as a person."
The actress says she has not watched many ghost movies but believes the concept of a "bride ghost" is really popular. "I didn't watch that many ghost stories but the bride ghost has been a popular phenomenon. Our's is a happier take on it."

NH10

Anushka Sharma donned the producer's hat in 2012 with NH10, a gory, part-road movie, part-revenge thriller. Its central character was a woman, who was not stripping or dancing in gardens or getting her man to fight the bad guys. Its songs were a part of the background score, so no dances, and yes it had abuses galore. In other words, NH10 was a producer's nightmare. Or so marketing suits in Bombay would think.

But not Anushka Sharma. She backed the screenplay by making NH10 her maiden production venture. With that, Bollywood saw the return of a supremely talented filmmaker Navdeep Singh (Manorama Six Feet Under) plus the breaking out of an equally talented writer Sudip Sharma (who also wrote Udta Punjab). NH10 was a tight, no-nonsense thriller that got cash registers ringing and social media talking, thanks to its contemporary themes of patriarchal violence in the hinterland and beyond.

That NH10 got made and became a success was a fundamental need for future filmmakers, writers, producers and actors-turned-producers. It turned out to be a textbook example of what can be achieved if good planning, good economics and good content are brought together in Bollywood. Because if these things click, it does not matter if it is a 26-year-old female actor, at the top of her game, who is turning producer.

Phillauri
Now, Anushka Sharma is back with her second production venture Phillauri. Phillauri's content is what they call 'quirky' in Bollywood where quirky means anything that cannot be easily marketed by clueless MBAs. Guy is manglik, marries a tree, tree is haunted by a female ghost played by Anushka Sharma, and now the guy must help her return to her ghost-land.

This is a concept which unimaginative producers would scoff at thinking it is childish. A producer has every right to have a "Public ko nahi bhayega"-type attitude because hell, it is his or her penny that is on the line with every production. But to have foresight regarding what can work at the box office in spite of being potentially risky is rare. This is where producers like Ronnie Screwvala, Ram Gopal Varma, Anurag Kashyap, Manish Mundra and now, Anushka Sharma, stand out.

The Road Ahead

The film is released and has proved to be hit , Anushka Sharma must be lauded for being a producer of substance, one who is not backing large, mindless projects with just bankable faces, but one who is investing in the right writers, filmmakers and technicians to deliver good films. If good cinema is what the audience at the end of the day pays for to watch in the theatre, then more power to Anushka Sharma for being one of those rare women who support it. 

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