Streaming on Amazon Prime 11th February 2022
It is difficult to categorize Shakun Batra’s Gehraiyaan in one particular slot. It starts off with the theme of adultery in relationships; from there we move to various alleys. There is some corporate drama, an accidental murder and finally letting go of your past. There are too many things that Shakun tries to put in and the result is a huge mess. This mess becomes more apparent towards the end. There are too many unanswered questions, the film ends with a hint of sequel but it would be honestly better if the makers don’t go ahead it.
Gehraiyaan tells the story of four individuals. Alisha (Deepika Padukone) is a yoga instructor with a troubled past. She is carrying a huge emotional baggage. She has a start- up plan to launch a yoga app. Karan ( Dhairya Karwa) is a writer boyfriend of hers who is trying to get his book published. Their relationship is in muddy waters. Alisha’s cousin Tia (Ananya Pandey) is a well- off US returned girl. She has the best of everything in terms of lifestyle and money. Tia invites Alisha and Karan for a short trip and introduces them to her fiancé Zain (Siddanth Chaturvedi). Zain is flamboyant, impressive and also flirtatious. It doesn’t take long for Zain to flirt with Alisha, sparks fly and eventually bodies meet too. What follows is a complex web of human relationships that leaves you completely puzzled.
The biggest issue with Gehraiyaan is lack of strong foundation for the intimate relationship between Zain and Alisha. It all comes across as too fast, as a result it is difficult to be invested in the characters. Also except for Karan and to an extent Tia both Zain and Alisha are difficult to sympathize with.
The drama revolving around Alisha’s pregnancy is not just old fashioned but it is also irritating. She pushes Zain to the brinks of frustration. As a result you don’t really sympathize with the problems that her character is going through.
Zain, on the other hand, becomes a complete bad person, so there is no question of sympathizing with him anyway.
Shakun uses the high waves to show the turmoil of the characters but the issue is that one problem comes after another. Therefore the loud roar of the waves seems continuous without giving us the relief.
The starcast tries its best to make the script work but it is a difficult task given the nature of the story. However there are some emotional bits which work in bits and pieces. For example, there is a conversation between Nassurudin Shah and Deepika Padukone towards the end. This bit is quite effective mainly because of Nassurudin Shah. Ananya Pandey also scores in the few emotional bits that she has, Dhairya Karwa as Karan fits the laid back attitude of the character but he hasn’t got a lot to do.
In a nutshell Shakun Batra needs to take a serious break from adultery and strained relationships; he needs to write his stories better.