Phillauri is a love story with a difference. It is actually a film about two love stories, set in two different time zones. Kanan Gill (Suraj Sharma) comes to India from Canada to marry girlfriend Anu (Meherene Pirzada). Both the families are pretty excited about the impending marriage but the astrologer predicts doom unless Kanan first marries a tree as he is manglik. The needful is done and the tree to which Kanan is married, is cut off.
Even as the wedding celebrations are all set to start, a ghost comes to Kanan and tells him that he had married her while marrying the tree because she lived in the tree. The ghost is that of Shashi (Anushka Sharma). Kanan is petrified at first and he can’t even confide in anyone because Shashi’s ghost is only visible to him. He is now scared to marry Anu because of the presence of the ghost who refuses to leave his house as her abode – the tree – is no more. Seeing his attitude towards marriage change, Anu is devastated as she feels that Kanan does not want to marry her. Of course, Anu knows nothing about the presence of Shashi’s ghost in Kanan’s life.
Here, Shashi remembers her own love story as she sees the wedding celebrations underway. Shashi lived in Phillaur, a small town of Punjab, almost 100 years ago. She was a poetess whose poems were published in a local newspaper but as the work of an anonymous writer. She was too scared to even tell her doctor-brother, Kishanchand (Manav Vij) that she was a poetess. In the same town lived Roop Lal Phillauri (Diljit Dosanjh) who had a wonderful voice and who sang romantic songs. Although he was a drunkard, girls of Phillaur loved him because of his golden voice and his love songs. Roop Lal Phillauri had fallen in love with Shashi when he had seen her at a music event one day. But she had slapped him then and chided him for wasting his voice by singing meaningless love songs. She had asked him to use his talent for the good of society instead. This had had such an impact on Phillauri that he had begun to turn over a new leaf from that moment itself. In this way, Phillauri had won Shashi’s heart.
Dr. Kishanchand had been shocked and ashamed of his sister when he had found her cosying up to Phillauri in the latter’s house. He had warned Phillauri to keep away from Shashi. But Phillauri, while admitting that he was not fit for Shashi, had promised to mend his ways and come up to her level as he loved her. Saying so to Dr. Kishanchand, Phillauri had left for Amritsar to sing songs written by Shashi, for a music company. Dr. Kishanchand slowly but surely had had a change of heart and had finally given his consent to the marriage, much to Shashi’s joy. The date of the wedding had been fixed. Roop Lal Phillauri was to come to Phillaur on the day of the wedding. But he hadn’t turned up. Had he ditched Shashi? Why else would he not turn up? Did Shashi finally find Phillauri? Did the two get married? Or was there a problem in their path? Does Anu realise Kanan’s predicament? Does Kanan marry Anu or does he live happily ever after with Shashi’s ghost?