‘GEHRAIYAAN’ REVIEW | 11 February, 2022

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Viacom18 Studios, Dharma Productions and Jouska Films’ Gehraiyaan (A) is the story of two cousins and their boyfriends. Alisha (Deepika Padukone) and Tia (Ananya Panday) are cousins who meet after several years, with their respective boyfriends, Karan (Dhairya Karwa) and Zain (Siddhant Chaturvedi) respectively. Sparks fly between Alisha and Zain, and the two have a torrid affair, unknown to their partners. Zain even arranges funding for Alisha’s yoga app. Zain himself has a big business for which he picks up funds from the market and also from girlfriend Tia’s family. His business is not very clean as far as the funding is concerned. As luck would have it, his business comes under the Enforcement Directorate’s radar.

Alisha and Tia have skeletons in their cupboards, which come tumbling out as the drama progresses. Likewise, the skeletons in the cupboards of their parents also come tumbling out. Zain’s skeletons in his professional life, of course, are out. What happens finally?

Ayesha Devitre Dhillon and Shakun Batra have written a story which abounds in cheating in love, manipulation, changing partners, backstabbing, etc. Since the lead players indulge in this, the story has novelty. The screenplay, written by Ayesha Devitre Dhillon, Sumit Roy and Shakun Batra, with additional screenplay by Yash Sahai, is engaging and fast-paced in the second part. However, the drama is meant for the city audiences — and not just because of the very liberal use of four-letter words and scenes of intimacy. The first part is a bit repetitive and slow-paced because of which it tends to get boring too. But the second part is not just fast-moving but it also has a lot of turns and twists. The drama in the last hour is very interesting. The love story turns into a thriller towards the end — and that shakes and shocks the viewers. It’s a lovely twist that’s least expected. Dialogues, penned by Yash Sahai and Ayesha Devitre Dhillon, are very realistic (because they are of the kind used by youngsters of cities today) and abound in the F-word.

Deepika Padukone does a swell job as Alisha. She sinks into the character which has many shades, and does the fullest justice to it. In the scenes in which she is down and out, she actually looks so! She has also exposed her body uninhibitedly and looks gorgeous. Siddhant Chaturvedi plays the Casanova Zain to the hilt. He looks suave and acts without inhibitions. Ananya Panday stands her own in front of a seasoned performer like Deepika Padukone, and that’s saying a lot. Ananya looks very pretty too and is especially good in dramatic scenes and those in which she shows concern. Dhairya Karwa gets limited scope. He is quite good as Karan. Naseeruddin Shah lends wonderful support as Alisha’s dad. Rajat Kapoor makes his presence amply felt in the role of Jitesh. Anaaya Anand (as young Alisha), Arzoo (as young Tia), Vedansh (as young Karan), Pavleen Gujral (as young Alisha’s mother), Imran Chappar (as the young dad of Alisha), Anup Sharma (as young Tia’s father), Vishaka Kavlekar (as young Tia’s mother), Natasha Rastogi (as the older Tia’s mother), Alison Gonsalves (as young Karan’s dad), Fiona Gonsalves (as young Karan’s mother), Vihaan Chaudhary (as Bejoy), Kanika Dang (as the older Karan’s mother), Deepak Kriplani (as the older Karan’s father) and the rest are adequate.

Shakun Batra’s direction is good. He is aware of his target audience — the youth — and he caters well to them. Intimacy director Dar Gai does a fine job of the intimate and love-making scenes. Music (OAFF and Savera) is good. The ‘Doobey doobey’ song is well-tuned and very well-rendered. The title track is quite nice. But none of the songs is a chartbuster; the film could have done with a couple of super-hit tunes. Lyrics (Kausar Munir and Ankur Tewari) are in synch with the film’s mood. OAFF and Savera’s background music is appropriate. Kaushal Shah’s cinematography is lovely. The picturesque locations have been ably captured in the camera. Dave Judge and Vikram Dahiya’s action and stunt scenes are okay. T.P. Abid’s production designing is of a high standard. Special mention must be made of Anaita Shroff Adajania’s costume designing. The costumes worn by both, Deepika Padukone and Ananya Panday, are hot, happening and sexy. Nitesh Bhatia’s editing is quite sharp.

On the whole, Gehraiyaan is for the youngsters, the millennials. It is good that the film has been premiered on an OTT platform because it is, in every sense, a film for the digital platform. Of course, the orthodox audience will not appreciate the film.

Released on 11-2-’22 on Amazon Prime Video.