You know what’s the best thing about this highly anticipated, much publicised film that’s on every movie buffs mind right now? Predictably, its lead actress Deepika Padukone. She’s the only reason you will watch the film and the only actor that will prevent this ship from sinking. Possibly.
While the curiosity factor is a big element in driving the business of the much hyped Gehraiyaan, helmed by director Shakun Batra, who is also co writer along with three others, not much can be said for its emotionless, lack lustre actors like Ananya Pandey and Dhairya Karwa and surprisingly, even Siddhant Chaturvedi, who has been good in his earlier films like Gully Boy and Bunty Babli 2.
Perhaps, this film with all its requirements was way out of his league, because it requires a gamut of emotions that Siddhant certainly doesn’t possess.
The story goes like this: Alisha (Deepika Padukone) is a yoga teacher who lives with her partner Karan (Dhairya Karwan), a struggling writer, in a desolate apartment, that looks like a dump and that both dont seem to care much about. At first glance, their relationship seems like an old and tired marriage that is on its way to the grave.
But, surprise! They are just living in and and yet they suffer all that ennui and discord and lack of physical or emotional love that complicated long term marriages are made of. Now, a question strikes. Why would anybody be in such a relationship without any of the benefits of a good partnership, if it was not a marriage they couldnt get out of, or with children involved!
Strange are the ways of modern, liberated couples.
And then comes Alisha’s young, preppy cousin who has the life she would have wanted. Tia is the completely unimpressive Ananya Pandey, who should switch to another profession, since talent is nowhere visible in any of her work so far. She and her boyfriend Zain (Siddhant Chaturvedi) are portrayed as the ‘perfect’ foil to Alisha and her partner Karan.
What is surprising is that this couple too, lacks chemistry and are both so wooden with each other, that it’s hard to imagine that they are madly in love, soon to be married, one helping the other financially, etc., etc.,
So when Alisha has an affair with Tias’ boyfriend Zain, it is nothing short of predictable.
A film like this required some amount of chemistry between the actors and here too, it’s just the lead actress faithfully essaying her role, the other three fall flat and that lends to the yawn factor of the film
How much can a person watch sex for sex’s sake? The storyline falters, hidden skeletons keep tumbling out of the closet and at one point, we get confused. There are many loopholes in the storytelling that, if you watched the movie carefully, like I did, you would notice. Tepid acting, lack of humor and trying to bring about justifications for ‘immorality’ make this film, just so unbelievable.
Does a person have to be mentally scarred to do the supposed ‘bad’ things he or she are doing? Not necessarily. Everything stems from a need and a choice, that people have. One doesn’t need the crutch of an unhappy childhood to cheat. People are just ‘messed up’ as the trailer tells us. Even then, immorality or morality is an individual choice.
The first half is a yawn fest that is saved by the gorgeous optics provided by Deepika’s luminous face and sinewy, perfectly in shape body that takes us through the beauty of a yoga practitioners various poses and in bed gymnastics. And yet you wonder, does a yoga teacher wear only yoga clothes, all the time? Very rarely do you see her wearing ‘normal’ clothes. Everything is well fitted, revealing and super sexy. On a lighter note, It would take a donkey to not be attracted to her. Zain is but a mere mortal.
The second half is a little better and where the climax is building up, after their lives get messy. And yet, the whole film sails by with their partners remaining oblivious to the lovebirds jumping in and out of each others beds. Blinkers on. Really?
A good topic dealt with in a very frivolous manner and inept story telling ruins this for us, so it takes enormous effort and willpower to continue watching it, till the end. That is not the hallmark of a movie that had so many expectations riding on it.
Perhaps Mr Director should have taken a leaf out of blockbuster movies on a similar theme, like the 2002 Richard Gere, Diane Lane starrer, Unfaithful and countless others with immense crisp storytelling and beautifully woven. Yes, with super chemistry and fabulous acting too.
As for Gehraiyaan?
In a nutshell, boring.
Watch only if you really must.