In this Indian film review, we will discuss the movie Gehraiyaan, a character study centered on two wildly different protagonists – Alisha (Deepika Padukone) and Zain (Siddhant Chaturvedi). Though their stories are radically different, they find solace in each other’s company. But how well does the movie handle these themes?
The Intimacy of Gehraiyaan, the latest film from Shakun Batra, will debut on Amazon Prime Video on February 11. The intimate scenes in the movie are so real that the director, Dar Gai, has enlisted the help of a intimacy director. Intimacy is not a word that Padukone associates with Alia Bhatt, but the film does feature the actress.
‘Slumdog Millionaire’ writer-director Gai was conscious of how important intimacy was in the film and envisioned intimate scenes as something new and fresh. To create a safe and secure environment for the actors, he roped in intimacy director Dar Gai. The intimacy department also made sure to provide the cast with tips on how to act intimately. The intimacy director’s role was critical to the movie’s success.
“Gehriyaan” is one of the few Hindi films to portray adultery as a positive aspect. It is a compelling portrayal of unfaithfulness in modern relationships. The story follows two couples in the midst of a complex relationship, which inevitably leads to the collapse of their house of cards. While this is the first Indian film to tackle adultery, it is not the first.
“Gehriiyaan” is different from other films dealing with adultery because it does not focus on marriage or revelation as much as it does on morality. While Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna and Kabhi Kabhie dealt with a more traditional approach to love, Gehraiyaan explores an unconventional one. This is because the protagonist has to choose between two people, one of whom is his or her soul mate.
Broken sibling relationship
The story of the broken sibling relationship in Gehraiyaan is an affecting one. The movie explores the effects of loss, in the form of family, love and self. Director Shakun Batra creates an intergenerational trauma tussle, and the film’s narrative prompts viewers to form opinions about the two leads within the first 20 minutes. The complexity of the backstories, however, keeps viewers guessing.
While the first half of the film is an emotional portrait of a relationship, the second half is a business and real estate thriller with a murder mystery. There are several stylistic flourishes, such as a beautiful use of indoor spaces to express resentment and anger. In fact, it’s the film’s most heartfelt moments that compel us to watch until the final minutes.
Lack of depth
If you’re a fan of the gimmick of the movie’s premise – a young, adventurous couple who fall in love in a small village – you’ll be disappointed by this lack of depth. The story is well-made, but there’s no sense of levity, and every scene feels too predictable. There’s no sense of humour, and the movie’s overall aesthetic is jarring and overly serious.
The story is compelling, but there’s no real sense of trust between Alisha and Tia, and the film ends on a cliffhanger that further sever the sisters’ relationship. The film’s tone shifts are self-conscious, and it veers somewhere between satire and a thriller. The movie’s second half, while not completely boring, also falls into the trap of contrived, cynical direction. It undoes the first half’s efficiency and squanders all of its potential.
Lack of script
Despite its two-hour-and-28-minute runtime, the film fails to deliver on its promise. While there are many lingering moments, Gehraiyaan has few plot points. The movie is largely a study of the effects of infidelity on relationships and personal lives. Despite this, the movie does manage to deliver an emotional impact. Here are some of its problems. Here’s a brief synopsis:
A nagging lack of focus – “Gehriaan” attempts to explore the issue of toxic masculinity, but it ends up dragging itself into a series of unnecessary narrative beats that prolong the movie and distract from its core message: human nature and the need for self-expression. For example, the film’s pivotal moment relies on the character intentionally acting dumb. This feels contrived and ultimately unsatisfying.
Lack of direction
This movie starts on a decent note, but quickly loses its direction. Events are happening for the sake of effect instead of building character and developing the plot. The affair scenes become boring and predictable. The traumatic past and relationship complexities do not evoke emotion. Adding a sub-plot of corporate and financial issues to the movie makes it a mess. Overall, Gehraiyaan is a mediocre romantic drama that should have been cut.
The film fails the Bechdel test. While there are many emotionally-charged moments in the movie, the film does not progress beyond the surface. This film sags from the climax with a jarring twist that further divides the sisters. It fails the Bechdel test because it lacks depth and finesse. It ends up feeling like a snoozefest instead of a worthwhile experience. Its themes are relatable, such as toxic masculinity and intergenerational trauma, but lacks direction.