Thank God It is Friday and with it comes a fresh set of new releases. So lets dig in one by one. First up is probably the most anticipated film which has generated a lot if hype for the right and wrong reasons. And with that I have finished watching the new hindi film Gehraiyaan on Amazon Prime. I did notice that this film has been getting a lot of hate even before it has released. It was a couple of days back that I had met a friend and we got talking about this film in particular and the infidelity around it. And while I wasn’t quite in favour of it, she made a point which got me thinking. Infidelity is so much more than being just being physical, it is emotional too. And that for me was a valid point if I had to think of it with an extremely open mindset.
It was in 2006 when Karan Johar had released one of his films slightly away from his comfort zone. The film was Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna which did talk about infidelity in marriage. I hadn’t quite liked the film up until recently when I watched the film and understood what it was trying to convey. With an open intellect(which I believe so in my humble opinion), I finished Gehraiyaan and here are my two cents on it.
Story & Screenplay
Gehraiyaan follows the story of a 30 year old woman in a relationship of 6 years who is attracted to her cousin’s fiance. And I will just leave it there as the story gets darker and darker as the film progresses. At times it was a little bit too much to take as I did not expect me to take me to certain places. The screenplay standing at almost 150 minutes might seem daunting but it passes off like a breeze. The drama is fast paced here and swiftly moves from one event to another. While we just get a glimpse into the childhood of the protagonist, the drama clearly underlines her current strenuous relationship of 6 years until she meets a charming young man. What seems like a harmless affair soon takes a dark turn. I loved how the writers kept each character real and their dynamics organic. It is seen how one thing leads to another in a relationship and with it come complications. Here, the complex dynamics which blossoms as a flower only to be pricked by the thorns is very well showcased. But this is just the surface! The drama starts getting darker as we delve deeper!
The second half is quite dark, something which I did not expect. While the intensity of the drama rises, the subtle twists and turns in the personal life of the characters ultimately start impacting the relationships too. As the layers are peeled off bit by bit, a shocking twist in the final 30 minutes really takes you by surprise. This is followed by another twist that gives you a new perspective to the whole story. It changes the gaze from which you have been watching the drama. While there is redemption to be hard, an open end(again open to interpretation) just beautifully wraps up a brilliant screenplay.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are subtle and conversational, nothing over the top and something which could be easily related to. The music is outstanding and it was so refreshing to listen to original songs. The BGM was outstanding and it went very well with the mood of the drama. The cinematography is brilliant with some outstanding frames being captured. The metaphor surrounding the waves had a calming and a meditative effect on me almost as if the film was speaking to me. And the intimacy bit was aesthetically shot. The colour tones kept changing with the mood of the drama, beginning with moderate pastle shades and slowly getting dark. Director Shakun Batra has done a tremendous job keeping things subtle yet nuanced and layered. If you are aware of his filmmaking style then he definitely keeps a twist or two up his sleeve which is revealed towards the end. And thankfully there are no spoilers in the trailer. The direction is top notch.
The performances are exquisite. Pavleen Gujral as Alisha’s mother shines in a cameo. Rajat Kapoor as Jitesh is wonderfully restrained. Naseeruddin Shah as Alisha’s father is quietly heartful and it was such a nuanced character. Dhairya Karwa who was recently seen as Ravi Shastri in the film 83 is pretty good as Karan here. His character felt a touch underwritten but he looked at ease here which was a big positive. Ananya Pandey as Tia has a nicely layered character and this was perhaps her best outing yet. She looked so much in control of her craft here and delivered a well restrained and a mature performance. Siddhant Chaturvedi as Zain is not the most likable character. His character has ample amounts of grey and is quite layered. And he is simply brilliant here. He starts off on a timid note(which did perplex me initially), but therein lay his brilliance. The character gathered momentum slowly but surely into the dark zone where his tonality began progressing too. It was almost as if we meet a person on their nicest behavior only to get to know their worst bit steadily as we progress in a relationship. Excellent stuff. Deepika Padukone as Alisha has the most emotional role and she literally gives her blood and sweat to her character. She looks gorgeous and does a fabulous job here. Each and every emotion is so brilliantly conveyed through her eyes and expressions. This was a commendable act which was quite heartfelt.
Gehraiyaan is a stunning masterpiece that will daze you in its depth. This movie will get its share of hate too but I feel it demands a second viewing to truly understand its nuances. Had this been a European film, it would have been lapped up with accolades by now. But a positive sign is that Bollywood has finally come to the party in 2022. Available on Amazon Prime and Highly Highly Highly Recommended.