Gehraiyaan Hindi Movie
Shakun Batra makes movies about dysfunctional families. The characters in his latest film, Gehraiyaan, have daddy issues and mommy issues. Deepika Padukone's Alisha has a cold relationship with her father. Like her mother, Alisha also feels stuck in her relationship with Karan. Dhairya Karwa's aspiring writer Karan finds it hard to complete his book and is financially dependent on his lover Alisha. So, Alisha does not know whether it pays to continue the relationship. But that is when Alisha meets Zain (Siddhant Chaturvedi), the fiance of her cousin Tia (Ananya Panday).
In one scene, Alisha tells Zain that she does not want to end up being stuck like her mother. In response, Zain tells her that she does not have to feel so and that she should make different decisions. The scene works as a sign of what's to come in their relationship and sets the tone for the rest of the movie.
Alisha and Zain's relationship starts on a flirtatious note but soon blossoms into one with physical intimacy. The aforementioned is not a plot spoiler because even the trailer shows it. Zain and Alisha relate to each other's stories about their domestic experiences. On the other hand, Tia notices that something does not seem right with Zain. Soon, we start realizing that these people have more skeletons in the cupboard than we think they have.
Gehraiyaan means depths as well as shows how deep the secrets in men and women's lives are. Zain keeps many facts hidden from Tia because, as he tells Alisha, he does not want to hurt her. On the other hand, Alisha is hurting as she is cheating on her cousin Tia and her lover Karan. Soon, the relationship between Alisha and Zain becomes so intense that we start to wonder whether something's gotta give. When that something arrives as a twist in the plot, we feel shocked by the revelations that ensue.
The movie has opened to polarizing views. Many people who like the film find that Batra's slow-burner approach to filmmaking suits the story of the film and its characters. There are also some who feel that the approach makes it harder to understand the characters and makes the film boring. I found it fascinating throughout because the pauses and silences are essential to the story that Batra is trying to tell here.
Gehraiyaan is a slow-burner but is not non-eventful. Perhaps, arguably, the corporate controversy that dogs Zain at office goes on for a bit too long. Nevertheless, it is essential to the plot of the film and helps us understand what Zain is like as a person.
The plot twist might make you wonder whether it is consistent with the action of a character. It is not out of character, and there is an earlier scene that helps us to better understand the character's line of thinking.
The constant use of water in the film is a metaphor for the mental states of the characters, especially Alisha's condition. Like their minds, the water goes neither too forward nor too backwards and feels stuck somewhere, really striving to flow over.
The performances are excellent across the board. Ananya Panday is good as a rich girl who does not understand her partner well enough. Siddhant Chaturvedi plays Zain in a way that never really allows us to fully figure out the character and that never reduces him down to a sorry figure. Deepika Padukone powers through in the film's central role, making Alisha an epitome of an urban woman. Padukone has already given outstanding performances in her career, but this is up there with her best turns. Naseeruddin Shah and Rajat Kapoor also perform their small yet important roles perfectly.