Gehraiyaan 2022 movies review

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Gehraiyaan — the new Amazon original movie with Deepika Padukone, Siddhant Chaturvedi, and Ananya Panday — is a classic case of being all over the place. It starts off as a romantic character drama, as the Gehraiyaan trailers and songs have hinted at. An aimless woman (Padukone) is trying to pick between two guys and their polar-opposite philosophies, and a man who takes no prisoners (Chaturvedi) is trying to have it all and juggle two worlds.

But Gehraiyaan transforms into another beast over the course of its bloated 133-minute runtime (sans credits), becoming more and more plot and event-driven. It’s been described as “domestic neo-noir” by the Gehraiyaan cast and director Shakun Batra, but it’s not that — Gehraiyaan bears no traits of the neo-noir genre. It’s just poor drama.

To be fair, Batra’s direction is not at fault. The 39-year-old competently handles the character work, lends small little touches that embellish the film, and his decision to shoot on location — Gehraiyaan shuttles between Mumbai and Alibaug, plus a yacht in the Arabian Sea — and the production design by Abid T.P. (Moothon) give the Amazon movie a lived-in feel.

But it’s the writing choices that ultimately doom it. Batra co-wrote Gehraiyaan — that’s Hindi for depths — with frequent collaborator Ayesha DeVitre (Kapoor & Sons, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu), and Sumit Roy who has contributed to two upcoming features for Karan Johar’s Dharma (Takht, Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani). On Gehraiyaan, Batra and DeVitre are operating in a very different space, away from the broad-brush family drama of Kapoor & Sons.

For reasons I can’t fathom, Batra and Co. push Gehraiyaan in an unnatural direction. Films have to feel consistent in the world they set up — and for 100 minutes or so, this one is. Gehraiyaan’s world involves millennial men and women trying to find meaning and happiness, dealing with childhood traumas and things left unsaid, and navigating some thorny moral quandaries. But soon after, Gehraiyaan completely loses itself in what can only be described as a point of no return.

Its world is fractured, it’s all out of control, and it goes overboard (in one instance, quite literally). Staying through Gehraiyaan’s final half hour feels like a severe case of whiplash.

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