A thrilling mix of insecurities and human flaws

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Jhere’s a sentiment that Amazon Prime’s Gehraaiyaan repeatedly addresses throughout its 148-minute runtime. The feeling of being stuck. Stuck in a life you may have chosen but desperately want to get out of. It’s not a feeling that we as humans don’t experience, at least in the art we consume. Maybe most of us experience it at some point in our lives, maybe even today. This lack of air and desperation is what Gehraiyaan has relied on from the very beginning. That’s how the movie has its hooks on you. Director Shakun Batra’s third feature film acts like a broken mirror in the minds of those who watch it, prompting you to look within or even break away from a life of lies. Alisha (Deepika Padukone), Zain (Siddhant Chaturvedi), Tia (Ananya Panday) and Karan (Dhairya Karwa) are four adults in intimate relationships, but also trying to find their own individual identities.

A lack of air and desperation is what Gehraiyaan has relied on from the very beginning. That’s how the movie has its hooks on you.

Alisha, a yoga teacher, and Karan, a struggling author have been dating for 6 years and live together in a modest apartment in the suburbs of Mumbai. She pays the bills, while he tries to finish a book. It’s a life he grew up in and out of. In stark contrast are Tia and Zain, engaged and also business partners, thanks to Tia’s wealthy dad who helped float Zain’s grand ambitions. Tia is distraught and doesn’t see much beyond Zain’s charm. While Zain, drunk on big dreams and money, believes he is living the life he deserves. Alisha and Tia are cousins ​​who were once inseparable as children but are now estranged. Years later, they choose to go on a weekend getaway with their respective partners, and a lot of things change.

Shakun Batra’s third feature film acts like a broken mirror in the minds of those who watch it, prompting you to look within, or even break away from a life of lies.

Zain and Alisha are almost immediately attracted to each other, and here begins an affair that brings them the validation and comfort they seek in their own relationships. Broken and bruised, with unchanging pasts dictating much of their present, Gehraiyaan’s characters are raw and relatable. Just like previous Shakun movies Ek Mein aur Ek Tu and Kapoor and sons, relationships here too are not simple or placid. Shakun often dives deep into our innate nature to want what we don’t seem to have, and doesn’t apologize for it. Writers Ayesha Devitre Dhillon, Sumit Roy and Yash Sahai Batra create characters with all shades of gray and give them stories that often make you understand and connect with the mistakes they make. There is guilt, shame, angst, fear and so often a sense of self-preservation as their true selves begin to unravel with the story.

There’s guilt, shame, angst, fear, and so often a sense of self-preservation as the character’s true self begins to unravel with the story.

The camera hides as a third person keeping you on edge. The frames are washed out with a certain pain blue. Without breaking the intimacy of the moments, cinematographer Kaushal Shah fluidly captures the uncomfortable truths of their lives and the darkness within them. The scenes where Karan sends Alisha away when confronted with her book, or where Tia pushes Zain into a corner trying to get him to confess to the affair, unfolds with brutal honesty. The soundtrack by Kabeer Kathpalia (OAFF) and Savera Mehta blends beautifully with the story’s inner emotional graphic but is never overused. in the unbridled passion whose characters often find themselves at the mercy of.

Without breaking the intimacy of the moments, cinematographer Kaushal Shah fluidly captures the uncomfortable truths of their lives and the darkness within them.

Shakun made sure that his actors act less and live more, and above all he synchronized them with a certain melancholy rhythm that the film carries. Ananya Panday, in her best role yet, takes her role seriously. She reminded me of a less sharp Alia Bhatt in scenes where she breaks down. Siddhant Chaturvedi doesn’t try too hard to detach from his inherent personality, and you’d like him to fade into Zain’s skin a bit more. Dhairya Karwa is a pretty new face in a mix of familiar stars and supports the story well.

Deepika Padukone, in her most complex role yet, lends herself fearlessly to Alisha. Here’s a character who’s constantly running from a troubled past that eventually catches up with her and breaks her to pieces. She dives deep into the complexities of a girl struggling to stand tall and alone. The more you watch it, the more you want it. The pain Alisha is going through pulsates right on the screen. You feel her out of breath and you want her to be free. Watch her seethe with emotion in a scene where she reconciles with her father, played by the brilliant Naseerudin Shah.

Deepika has matured with each film and you wish more roles like this were written for her. Roles where moral codes are blurred and where you just play a human being with all your deformities and delusions. A special mention for Pavleen Gujral who plays the mother of young Alisha, and who is sincere in the limited screen time she has.

Gehraiyaan certainly could have made an impact with less running time and it doesn’t leave you feeling joyful or even hopeful, but it pushes you to introspect.

Gehraiyaan certainly could have made an impact with less running time. In fact, it would have been a better movie if it had been shorter and hadn’t dwelt on a major point of conflict for so long. He sometimes overshadows the styles of Woody Allen Match point and David O Russel Silver Linings Playbook in the way it creates tension and chemistry. But Shakun used his cinematic influences well. The film doesn’t leave you happy or even hopeful, but pushes you to introspect. That’s probably why you can’t give it a second chance. But I see it as a huge coming of age for Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions and the kind of black-and-white storytelling, everything’s fine in the end, that it represented. It is a memorable movie that will stay with you after watching it.

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