So finally we have a film release that has helped a small portion of the internet move on from Pushpa. And this one, like its name is encouraging slightly more sensible conversations than 10 sec reels, even for the haters. For that alone I am thankful.
On the surface of it, Gehraiyaan is a love triangle. Four good looking people go on a luxurious holiday together. Two of these good lookers get drawn to their non-partners and they act on this attraction despite their existing relationships. What pushes them into choosing infidelity and how it messes up their already messed up lives is what this multilayered, immersive storytelling takes us through. Immersive because it is hard to not get involved into the story despite the distant urban environment that it chooses.
The beauty of Gehraiyaan lies in three things, the cast, the cinematography and the music. When the poster first came out I had trouble putting these four actors opposite each other, but after having watched it I cant think of a better Tia, Alisha, Zain or Karan. Each character and their relationships with each other are written with such detailing that even in a silent frame, their feelings towards each other are loud and evident. You can sense the tension between Tia and Alisha, the desire between Alisha and Zain and the bro friendship between Tia and Karan. All of this looks effortless but its only because every dialogue, gesture, body language is written so thoughtfully. Which is also why despite the slow progress of events during the first half, you continue to be invested in their lives. The music and camera does much of the storytelling and stops you from wanting to fast forward even through the nothingness.
One thing that makes it difficult to relate to the lives of these characters is obviously their privilege. I mean there is ‘Alibaug mein resort jaisa bangla hai’ level rich and then there is next level rich of – ‘owning a yacht and using it only to accomplish an affair’. This premise tells you you are obviously in a Dharma film. But then Shakun Batra goes beyond this superficiality and convinces us of how emotions of being lost, scared, stuck, desperate etc in relationships are the same in a 1BHK and in a private Yacht.
Another interesting thing about Gehraiyaan is how it takes a thriller route for a drama film. Feeding us with secrets and revelations from all sides. My only complaint is about the rushed second half and slightly absurd ending.
Coming to the cast, Deepika is outstanding. Although we have seen glimpses of similar character traits in Cocktail and Tamasha, here she makes the character and the actor inseparable, not to mention how gorgeous she looks while at it. Siddhant Chaturvedi has a tricky role to play, flamboyant, impulsive, intense, he manages to play Zain through the layers, although I felt like there could have been more to Zain that goes unexplored. Ananya Pandey as Tia is pretty much playing herself except some parts where she does get her chance to act, and she surprises us. Dhairya as Karan gets the least screen time or any backstory but is always pleasant to watch in his tiny role.
It is an unconventional subject with a complicated generation as its protagonist. So yes, it is bound to have polarizing opinions. But watch it for its wholesome performances and deeper meaning.
Cutting Rating – 3.5/5