First up, the title Gehraiyaan meaning “Depths” has a poetic look and feel to it which sets up our expectation meter. Going by the teaser, one would expect the film to be about relationships and their depths. But, what if I say that the relationships in this film among people are not really so deep? And there are many relationships that are portrayed in the 2 hour film – Relationship between partners, between father and daughter, between mother and daughter and so on. And what if I say that the film is more about “Valuations” of relationships?
I saw Gehraiyaan more as a commentary on Gen Y or the Smart phone generation which is young, brash, impatient and ambitious with a sense of entitlement and this defines the actions and reactions of the characters throughout the film at all stages. Key characters have a past that is traumatic with which they judge the present and take a call on future. “Moving on” is a constant thing. As they move on, things don’t get easier but get more and more complex.
This film therefore is about its writing. The writing team comprising of Shakun Batra, Ayesha Devitre, Sumit Roy and Yash Sahai walk the tight rope in keeping us engaged throughout even when the proceedings are at times slow on the screen. With just few lines here and there, the characterisation of the key players are established right at the beginning. While the first half focusses on existing relationships and emerging new romances, the second half is more about ventures, funding, deals, valuations and how relationships get stressed when things get mixed up. Apart from the lead characters, the Smart phone plays an important role, engineering the key twists in the plot. No more spoilers on the story. Enough to say that Shakun Batra weaves a very complex, modern day take on urban youth whose morality and aspirations cross paths often.
Director Shakun Batra gets the casting of the principal characters bang on. Deepika Padukone as Alisha portrays the role of a disturbed girl struggling in her career while trying to “not get stuck” in a relationship, brilliantly. In one of her best performances till date, her portrayal of this character comes across as organic even as the world around her moves up and down. Siddhant Chaturvedi also equally measures up to the very complex role in this film. He really comes of his own in scenes in the second half when things seemingly start going out of control. Ananya Pandey and Dhairya Karwa as the other characters play to their briefs but Ananya is a pleasant surprise, I must add. Naseeruddin Shah is now being stereotyped as the estranged dad and he does it to perfection! The less acclaimed Kapoor of Hindi cinema, Rajat Kapoor aces his part also very well.
Gehraiyaan is a well-made film with eye candy photography and a very apt background score. It is certainly a coming of age of Hindi cinema in more ways than one and I would recommend it as a must watch. Its streaming now on Amazon Prime.