The trailer of Gehraiyyan prepares you for a modern take on twisted love, desire, and adultery. The sound of the crashing waves amidst the ocean also prepares you for a secret. Yet one could have never imagined the darkness it explores.
Gehraiyaan achieves the depths it wanted to mark to a good extent. In an interview with Film Companion, Deepika Padukone explains the film as a ‘Domestic Noir’. The underlying tension amidst characters remains palpable through most of the film. With Deepika Padukone carrying the narrative strongly and others too delivering decent performances, the movie on Amazon Prime is definitely worth watching.
In the first scene itself, Karan(Deepika’s boyfriend) says while going to the Alibaug farmhouse “2 din mein zindagi nahi badal jayegi”. Everything that follows contradicts this statement.
Family becomes an important part of our personality. Our childhood experiences share and shape our behaviour and motivations in life. Gehraiyaan is about the cracks and dark secrets that were passed from the elder generation to the younger one. Alisha is constantly haunted by the ghost of her mother who had committed suicide when she was only a child. She has one resolve, “to not end up like her mother”.
On the outside, there are four young people- Deepika, Siddhant, Ananya and Dhairya Karwa with chiselled looks, a yacht, and a lot of money. However, these characters are flawed and broken at the same time.
Her relationship with Karan becomes strained as he has left his advertising job, and is working on a novel. When Alisha meets her cousin's fiance Zain Oberoi, sparks fly and the two find attracted to each other instantly.
After the movie, you will realize that Deepika is at the heart of Gehraiyaan. Zain’s role although crucial to the narrative is not that well explored. His motives, whether driven by character or circumstance, are never clear to the audience. Tia, played by Ananya Pandey has little to play within the film. Yet, delivers a decent performance.
The movie feels stretched to me when we get extremely into corporate politics. Moreover, although these are rich millennials, some of the abuses could have been avoided. We lack here the lucidity of dialogues that Fawad Khan delivered in Kapoor and Sons. The dialogues feel superficial in some scenes.
Nevertheless, Gehraiyaan is unique as this is no ordinary love story and these are not your perfect characters. Unseen circumstances expose the worst in people, as we slowly draw links between the past and the present. The gloominess is well captured by neutral tones and dull colours of a moist Mumbai and Nasik life by cinematographer Kaushal Shah. The movie is further uplifted by the songs that keep you hooked written by Ankit Tewari.
Look out for Naseeruddin who plays Alisha’s father and a poignant scene where the two finally reconcile. Naseer’s expertise in his craft wrap the tale highlighting that life is more than one experience, and one event.
Gehraiyaan is disturbing yet manages to stay with you after the film. It unravels like a tragic modern-day theatre on family and relationships.