PHULLU

K.C. Productions Pvt. Ltd., Kapoor Films Inc. and Ambiabhi Productions’ Phullu (A) is the story of a well-meaning young man who surmounts Herculean obstacles to improve the lot of the women in his village.

Phullu (Sharib Ali Hashmi) lives with his mother (Nutan Surya) and sister, Tara (Trisha Kale). He brings pieces of cloth from the city, which women of the village take from him for use during their periods. Phullu’s mother keeps taunting him and often asks him to go to Delhi and do something worthwhile there instead of catering to the needs of the ladies, but Phullu has the good of the women at heart and hence refuses to leave. His mother selects a girl, Bigni (Jyoti Sethi), for him. Their marriage is solemnised soon. Even after his wedding, Phullu refuses to take up a decent job.

During one of his trips to the city, he learns about sanitary napkins from a lady doctor. He brings a lot of sanitary napkins to the village but his shocked mother throws him out of the house for this. He also realises that his wife suffers from infection in her private parts because she doesn’t use hygienic sanitary pads. He is convinced that the ladies of the village don’t use sanitary napkins because they are expensive. To improve the lot of all the women in the village, he decides to himself make sanitary napkins and sell them at very affordable rates. For this, he goes to Delhi and works in a unit manufacturing sanitary pads. After learning all about it, he brings the raw materials to his village and makes sanitary pads in his house. However, all hell breaks loose when he asks some ladies to use them after his mother and sister express disgust at his suggestion to them to use it. As for his wife, she has gone to her parental home as she is pregnant with his child.

How Phullu realises his dream is what the climax is all about.

Dr. Anmol Kapoor’s story is well-intentioned but all that is well-intentioned cannot be fodder for a film script – and this story underlines the fact. By its very nature, the story will make a lot of people screw up their noses in disgust despite the noble intentions. Shaheen Iqbal’s screenplay is far from engrossing, and there are several reasons for this. For one, the audience’s sympathy does not go to the hero, Phullu, because of his rigid nature; he is not bothered that his mother is so disturbed by the odd jobs that he does, he doesn’t care that the older ladies of the village speak ill about him behind his back. In this scenario, even Phullu’s noble intentions don’t succeed in making a place for Phullu in the viewers’ hearts. Again, Phullu speaking about a personal thing as sanitary napkins to the women in the village looks idiotic. Therefore, it doesn’t break the viewer’s heart when the ladies insult him in spite of his good intentions. All Phullu needed to do was to make his understanding wife talk to the ladies. Alternatively, he could easily have given every woman in the village a free sanitary napkin for trial, with their quota of cloth pieces. Shaheen Iqbal’s dialogues are good but they would make many among the audience cringe.

Sharib Ali Hashmi does a fair job as Phullu. Jyoti Sethi is quite alright in the role of Bigni. Nutan Surya shines as Phullu’s forever distressed, disturbed and fire-spitting mother. Trisha Kale is okay as Tara. Inaam-ul-haq is excellent in a special appearance as Gyan Dev. Namya Saxena has her moments as the press reporter. Shivam Pradhan makes his presence felt as the servant in the dhaaba. Kimti Anand (as Heera chacha), Namya Saxena (as Chitra), Paras Raj Gandhi (as Pramod), Seema Parihar (as Vimla), Vandana Chopra (as the lady doctor), Nirupma Gupta (as Heera chacha’s wife), Sagar (as chemist) and the others lend the desired sup­ port.

Abhishek Saxena’s direction is good in parts but not consistently so. Music (Vicky Agarwal and Troy Arif) goes well with the film’s mood. ‘Manmatanga’ song has lilt whereas the other numbers are alright. Lyrics (by Shaheen Iqbal and Raghav Dutt) are appropriate. Troy Arif’s background music is okay. Simarjet Singh Suman’s camerawork is reasonably good. Rohit Mhatre’s editing is fairly sharp.

On the whole, Phullu is good in parts only, but its drama often looks contrived and unconvincing. As such, it will not be able to make a mark at the box-office, its poor opening and dull promotion only adding to its tale of woes.

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