One of the most highly anticipated films of the year, Gehraiyaan is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video. But is it really worth the hype? We watched it to find out if you should invest two and a half hours in this film.
Directed by Shakun Batra, Gehraiyaan stars Deepika Padukone as Alisha, Siddhant Chaturvedi as Zain, Ananya Panday as Tia, and Dhairya Karwa as Karan. Alisha and Tia are cousins who meet after eight years amid long-standing family animosity. The cousins and their respective significant others come together in Alibaug for a reunion. Soon after they meet, Zain begins to express an interest in Alisha and Alisha doesn’t really seem to mind the attention from her cousin’s fiance. After the trip, they continue talking without Karan or Tia knowing and develop a relationship that goes beyond harmless flirtation. This relationship triggers a series of events that defines everyone’s future in more ways than one.
Gehraiyaan is an intensely good-looking film. From Deepika Padukone and Siddhant Chaturvedi to the gorgeous locations, it’s a visual delight as long as you disregard the overuse of the crashing-waves-equals-passionate-sex cliche. Unfortunately, that’s not the only cliche in the film. You will also notice them in the innocent, one-dimensional, poor little rich girl and the poor boy who just wants to get rich quick storyline. Tia and Zain are walking cliches that we’ve seen in 90s Bollywood. But since this is 2022, they’re urban, keep saying ‘Fuck’, don’t break into random song-and-dance sequences, and at least one of them lives abroad.
Deepika Padukone’s Alisha is frustrating to watch initially. The struggles in her life are exhausting because they never stop. And if her ongoing problems weren’t enough, she manages to land herself in even more trouble with her cousin’s fiance. At one point, you will want to yell at her to just get her life together!
Naseeruddin Shah is a pleasant surprise and proves yet again that no matter how small the role is, he will make his presence felt on the screen.
Despite the frustrating character she’s been given, Deepika Padukone shines in the last hour of the film. To its credit, Gehraiyaan offers an unexpected twist in the story but leaves it unfinished. While you wait on edge for something to take this film to another level, nothing really happens. Gehraiyaan, as a story, had a lot of potential. If the love story hadn’t been the focus and was just a part of the larger story of a highly dysfunctional family with secrets that ruin generations, this would have been a much more gripping film. If this was the story of two sisters trying to fix their family, it would’ve truly been a breath of fresh air.
Gehraiyaan is a great start for Bollywood to explore new genres and go beyond its normal. But the film is also proof that we have a long, long way to go.
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