'Gehraiyaan' review: Deepika Padukone's brilliantly vulnerable act pays off
Shakun Batra is a master storyteller when it comes to exploring layers of relationships and dynamics of families. With Gehraiyaan, the director focuses on the intricacies between four characters—Alisha (Deepika Padukone), Zain (Siddhant Chaturvedi), Tia (Ananya Panday), and Karan (Dhairya Karwa), although Alisha and Zain get the lion's share of the spotlight. The film offers much more than the usual. Here's our detailed review.
Alisha and Zain begin affair after meeting on trip
To give a brief, Alisha and Karan have been living together for six years but Alisha feels stuck in the relationship as she thinks Karan isn't invested enough. On the other hand, we have Alisha's cousin, a "too trusting" Tia, and her fiance Zain, who live a lavish life. When the two couples meet, sparks fly between Alisha and Zain and complex consequences follow.
Movie doesn't just focus on infidelity as was marketed
While Batra tagged the movie to be focused on Alisha-Zain's infidelity, Gehraiyaan is much more than that. We dive deep into the personal battles of the characters like how Alisha is tackling haunting images from her past or how Zain is ready to reach unimaginable heights to not slip into his old life. And, these complexities actually make the two-and-a-half-hour-long film more interesting.
Did Batra try to justify infidelity through traumatic back stories?
Needless to say, Batra showcases the delicacy of an affair with adequate care, so that a viewer doesn't judge any character. But we did wonder if he was trying to justify infidelity through the characters' traumatic past lives. That bit is for you to decide. Apart from the leads, Rajat Kapoor and Naseeruddin Shah have small roles, which they ably essay.
Padukone owns every mood; Karwa doesn't get enough exposure
Coming to the lead stars' performances, Padukone aces all moods—you understand her ache when she reaches for her anxiety medication, you read her palpable guilt, you empathize with her, and you fear for her. Chaturvedi matches Padukone's level in every scene and even Panday does a great job with her part. Sadly, Karwa does not get enough meat to explore in this one.
'Gehraiyaan' should not be missed
Kaushal Shah's cinematography is top-notch. Another factor going for the drama is its insane music album. You must not miss out on this one. The film—backed by Dharma Productions, Viacom18 Studios, and Jouska Films—is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Verdict: It gets 4/5 stars.