When I first watched Shakun Batra’s Kapoor & Sons I was totally awestruck. I literally had no idea about the film and expected it to be a typical bollywood rom-com but ended up watching a complex yet compelling relationship drama. And that’s the foremost reason why I was so waiting for Gehraiyaan to release. Like his previous outings Gehraiyaan is too ‘modern’ made for a niche audience.
The death of Alisha’s mother has taken a toll on her mental health and her 6 year old relationship is going through a rough patch. On a reunion with her cousin Tia she meets Zain and both make an instant connection that eventually leads them to a rollercoaster ride of complexities. I always have a connection to these urban stories and I love exploring them. Gehraiyaan, said to be a tale of modern day can’t be just put under the ‘modern-day relationship’ status. Relationships are always complex and mistakes happen even the director too made a subplot involving the protagonist’s parents. The choices we make either makes our life better or might take you to a path you don’t wish to live. The characters of the film are flawed, disturbed and get distracted in their course of journey. Shakun Batra draws an emotionally drenching story of people with conflicts, drama and astonishes the audience with a layered writing. Gehraiyaan means ‘depth’ though it doesn’t make use of it completely, it makes sense on the surface. As we go deep inside we may find ourselves entangled in a web of lies and dilemmas so do the characters. The second act inflicts too much mess from financial fraud, pregnancy, past trauma to infidelity and mixes-up the whole intensity of the initial setup. But Shakun Batra keeps his best trick only to happen in the final act accompanied with amazing twists and turns which you won’t see coming.
Deepika Padukone channelizes the inner emotions with great enthusiasm and is definitely the best thing about the film. A tour-de-force performance that’s gonna bag her several accolades for sure. Ananya Panday is a revelation who’s perfect as Tia and leaves us all surprised with a decent act. Siddhant Chaturvedi and Dhairya Karwa play their parts with conviction. Veteran Naseeruddin Shah within his limited space makes an instant connection. How can I not fall in love with the songs ? The exquisite soundtrack by OAFF oozes charm and plays suitably according to the emotions. Kaushal Shah’s visuals are staggering as he captures those raging waves beautifully to convey the emotions.
Shakun Batra doesn’t empathise with the lead’s actions, rather travels with them. With poignant storytelling Gehraiyaan might take some time to process. It is convoluted, messy and inconsistent in parts yet this urban romance does make us fall for it.
Review by Rahul Babu