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Movie Review | Gehraiyaan: A complex web of emotions, expectations, relationships!

With Gehraiyaan, Shakun Batra tries to decode complex human behaviour and its consequences, through a mature story that isn’t easy to narrate.

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Shakun Batra’s Gehraiyaan is a complex & mature narrative weaved around two couples, their families, expectations, et al. Gehraiyaan is about Alisha (Deepika Padukone) a worked-up yoga instructor and her live-in boyfriend of 6 years Karan (Dhairya Karwa), an advertising professional turned (struggling) author. Alisha also has a strained relationship with her father and memories of her troubled childhood. It is also about Tia (Ananya Panday), Alisha’s cousin and her fiancé Zain (Siddhant Chaturvedi), a hot shot real estate professional.

Gehraiyaan could very well be tagged into the domestic noir genre. The very first reel sets the tone of the film and summarizes the complexities in relationships, expectations, and the price one must pay for their deeds. In fact, it keeps haunting Alisha who looks ambitious and strong headed yet goes through her moments of weakness and vulnerability. She finds herself at life’s crossroads when her six-year relationship is no more attractive and starts dwindling.

Just when Alisha begins to sort-of accept that the reality cannot be altered, her life expropriates by the arrival of her cousin, Tia and her fiancé, Zain. Alisha, in no time, bonds with Zain over their troubled past and a common wish to break from its confines. Siddhant Chaturvedi as Zain is in his own, essays a layered and conflicted character. Ananya Panday as Tia lives a more affluent life in a tailor-made role but is bogged down by the heavy emotions. Dhairya Karwa makes his presence felt sharing screen space with Deepika.

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Halfway into the story, Shakun’s plot makes a transition from romance to noir; ‘Gehraiyaan’ becomes an altogether unpredictable and volatile story with twists around the selfish nature of human beings and the desperate lengths to which it can drive people. It is tensed almost like a psychological drama with painful uncertainties and extreme emotions and the struggle between is dramatic.

Gehraiyaan charts the journey of Alisha and Zain, as they confront the ghosts of their past on the path they take to avoid it, but are they on the right path or is there something amiss. On the other hand, the life of a privileged and wealthy Tia and Zain looks picture perfect but as you dig deeper, the narrative unravels each character’s shortcomings.

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Naseeruddin Shah as Alisha’s laid-back father adds to the already complex drama. He has his past but not much is revealed until the end that surprises and makes one root for the father-daughter duo. Rajat Kapoor as Zain’s calculative business colleague ably supports the goings on and makes his presence felt in his scenes with Siddhant.

Gehraiyaan is an Adult (18+) film with liberal doses of kissing & intimate scenes, and ample use of the ‘F’ word, so much so that there is a dialogue admitting the same! The makers have been smart in marketing the film in a way that will surprise the audience and pull them into the web of romance, relationships, infidelity, deceit, etc. It is not about having a gala time on the beach, lavish yacht rides, romance and getting intimate as shown in the trailers; romance and infidelity are just about scratching the surface, the tip of the iceberg.

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A dialogue by Alisha’s father summarizes the narrative, “Life is all about choices… Let’s put all this behind us and move on.” With Gehraiyaan, Shakun tries to decode complex human behaviour and its consequences, through a story that isn’t easy to narrate. He, time-and-again creates a metaphor of emotions using the deep sea and waves and the use of a yacht showcasing the glamour and flamboyance. He has also made good use of silences and pauses in dialogues creating an intriguing environment. On the hind side, parts in which the narrative is told with the help of mobile phone messages, might work in the theatre screens but mars the effect on TV sets or smaller devices.

Overall, all this and more clubbed together is thrown at the viewer like a fireball and you cannot fathom the depth of what is coming at you. Reel-after-reel you keep wondering what to expect next. There are also scenes that may steer you into the thriller genre including the last one that hints for a suspenseful sequel.

The film’s music and original score is composed by independent musical duo Kabeer Kathpalia (OAFF) and Savera Mehta making it their mainstream film debut. Kausar Munir and Ankur Tewari have written the lyrics.

Gehraiyaan is a romantic drama directed by Shakun Batra who also co-wrote the script with Sumit Roy, Ayesha Devitre and Yash Sahai. The film is jointly produced by Dharma Productions, Viacom18 Studios and Jouska Films.

Movie: Gehraiyaan
Director: Shakun Batra
Cast: Deepika Padukone, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Ananya Panday, Dhairya Karwa, Naseeruddin Shah and Rajat Kapoor
Streaming on: Prime Video
Duration: 148 minutes

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SUMMARY

With Gehraiyaan, Shakun Batra tries to decode complex human behaviour and its consequences, through a mature story that isn’t easy to narrate.
CELEBRITY GALLERY

Pooja Hegde

Shehnaaz Gill

Kriti Sanon

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Movie Review | Gehraiyaan: A complex web of emotions, expectations, relationships!With Gehraiyaan, Shakun Batra tries to decode complex human behaviour and its consequences, through a mature story that isn’t easy to narrate.