Gehraiyaan – the new original Amazon movie with Deepika Padukone, Siddhant Chaturvedi, and Ananya Panday – is an old story of ubiquity. It starts out as a romantic character drama, as Gehraiyaan trailers and songs have suggested. An aimless woman (Padukone) tries to choose between two boys and their anti-polar philosophers, and a man who does not take prisoners (Chaturvedi) tries to have everything and ride two worlds.
But Gehraiyaan transforms himself into another beast during its 133 minute period (without credits), becoming a conspiracy and many events. Described as “domestic neo-noir” by Gehraiyaan actors and director Shakun Batra, but that is not the case – Gehraiyaan has no neo-noir traits. Just a bad drama.
Gehraiyaan Film Review
To be honest, Batra’s direction is flawless. The 39-year-old woman manages the actor’s work, giving small film-friendly touches, and her decision to shoot in the area – Gehraiyaan shuttles between Mumbai and Alibaug, and a yacht in the Arabian Sea – and a production design -Abid. TP (Moothon) gives the Amazon movie a sense of staying inside.
But it is the writing decisions that eventually give up. Batra co-wrote Gehraiyaan – the Hindi word for depth – with regular editor Ayesha DeVitre (Kapoor & Sons, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu), and Sumit Roy who contributed to the next two aspects of Karan Johar’s Dharma (Takht, Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani). In Gehraiyaan, Batra and DeVitre operate in a very different environment, away from the Kapoor & Sons broad-based family drama.
For reasons I can not comprehend, Batra and Co. push Gehraiyaan in an unnatural way. Films should feel the same in the world they set up – and for 100 minutes or so, this is it. Gehraiyaan’s world includes men and women of the millennium who strive to find meaning and happiness, deal with childhood traumas and things left unspoken, and wander through powerful moral issues.
But soon after that, Gehraiyaan completely loses what can be described as a place of no return. Its world is broken, everything is out of control, and it is overpowering (sometimes, literally). Sitting within the last half hour of Gehraiyaan sounds like a serious case of whiplash.
Disappointingly, Batra did not need to push the issue to the next level. Gehraiyaan is probably about everyday people and everyday events, which is temporary. But the new Indian Amazon movie is getting worse in the third act – before the defeat of the final twist that erased all my good memories of the film. Batra delayed Gehraiyaan for a few minutes at the last minute – originally scheduled for Republic Eve – because he was still making the final touch on his movie, but it is now clear that it needed a lot of rethinking at first.
Gehraiyaan focuses on the lives of the two characters mentioned above. Alisha “Al” Khanna (Padukone) is a 30-year-old yoga teacher – in a six-year relationship with Karan Arora (Dhairya Karwa, 83) who left her lucrative job of copying ads and is now struggling. and an inactive novelist. Alisha feels trapped in life, her job is nowhere to be found and she thinks she is stuck with her boyfriend.
Then there is Zain Siddiqui (Chaturvedi, of Gully Boy), a house developer who is engaged to be married to Alisha’s cousin Tia “Tee” Khanna (Panday). Although Alisha and Tia grew up together, Tia is actually very close to Karan as they studied together in the US. As Alisha says at the beginning of Gehraiyaan, she knows her cousin through her boyfriend.
Returning to India shortly after, Tia invites Alisha and Karan to spend the weekend with them at their Alibaug beach bungalow. This is how Alisha and Zain’s ways crossed over for the first time – and they soon found out that they had more in common than their beauty. In fact, they both like to think of themselves as outsiders.
They are the same again because they both have a traumatic past. And even though she is now in a bridal show, Zain can’t help but play Alisha regularly. You know where this is going – after all, the Gehraiyaan trading machine has already told you. Alisha and Zain first met after Tia and Karan, which naturally leads to all sorts of problems. Although more than you could expect.
Sidenote: A lot has been done with nearby Gehraiyaan scenes, which is funny because there is no same-sex scene in the movie. Lots of kisses, it’s about.
These are the best parts of Gehraiyaan – the first 30 minutes or so – and Batra does well to develop the characters. Padukone feels very depressed. She’s busy in life, she’s never ready to take the reins, and she’s still convinced she’s the worst luck. It may be a way to deal with the situation.
Alisha doesn’t want to end up like her mother who felt pressured in her relationship, but by reminding herself of this fact every day, it just seems like she wishes it could happen. Padukone aptly plays Alisha as an insecure and sour person. One of these reminds us of the World’s Worst Man, Joachim Trier’s beautiful portrait of a woman in her 20s who doesn’t really know what she wants in life. But then it stops being that film.
Following the first action most mentioned in Alisha’s view, a series of second shifts change Zain. Chaturvedi brings a cheeky and dangerous edge to Zain, though I can not help but feel like a character slipping into a familiar place. Gehraiyaan is clearly interested in showing that a guy who takes what he wants clearly is a sign of toxic manhood today.
When taken to the corner, Zain is more than enlightening his loved ones and not having his BS. But it is also here that Gehraiyaan is dragged into unnecessary narrative bits – not only prolonging the film’s performance but also disrupting what was there until then a solid exploration of human nature.
Like Alisha, Gehraiyaan finds herself in quicksand. Most second action also features a song every 10 minutes or so. It always happens – save once – Batra wants to move the story forward in time. Sounds like a cheat. (And it is obviously a commercial ploy. After all, Bollywood songs are there to promote the movie. They rarely make a point in the films themselves.) Unable to write scenes that can push actors in a logical way, Gehraiyaan prefers mindless music. montage.
The most insignificant yet important moment I have ever suggested, which troubles Gehraiyaan and sinks it into the abyss. It is not just about breaking the film, it is about a character who deliberately behaves dumb. Naturally, it sounds artificially created – as the writers pull the strings.
Speaking of practice, the ADR process – collectively known as Indian naming, long Bollywood culture – feels unnatural sometimes and takes you off the scene. You can see the character talking about his lines. And when it comes to technology concerns, there is an unusually bad CGI or the camera is sticking out at strange Dutch angles.
If not, the cinematography from Kaushal Shah (Mumbai Diaries 26/11), is beautiful and cruel. It’s not a combination, don’t worry. Batra and Shah are not afraid to push their character in the face of difficult times, but they also retreat to show off their dream lives which often involve chilling out on boats or by the lake.
In the end, the Gehraiyaan film is a confusing film – one that stands out in the basecamp then climbs the wrong mountain. The fall is unkind. Gehraiyaan also suffers from expectations of itself. Caught in a place where they did not know how to sell a movie without breaking its secrets, the Dharma and Amazon retailer sold it as a full-fledged love drama.
I’m not saying trailers are misleading, but they leave out too much. Viewers’ perceptions of the movie before it is played are not what the movie is for most of its time. This isn’t exactly the film’s fault, but it’s not like Gehraiyaan pulls out a switcheroo easily. Instead, it sinks down – and all life comes out of it as it emerges from the depths.
Related – Lucy And Desi Review: Most Prolific Power Couples In Entertainment History