Gehraiyaan The film is jointly produced by Dharma Productions, Viacom18 Studios and Jouska Films.
Bollywood is currently caught in the one-trick pony mindset. The success of Pushpa: The Rise has suddenly woken up the B-Town giants from their deep slumber and made them smell the coffee. Now everyone wants to heap praise on South actors, remake South films and make reels on Oo Antava. But we are laying our bets on this phase to end soon, very soon. The one film that might break this rut is Gehraiyaan. Yes, it doesn’t have a superhero or an item song, or a Rs 100 crore VFX budget, yet there is something that is immensely appealing in this project. If things turn out well and the film is anything like the trailer we just watched, then Gehraiyaan will be a game-changer for its lead cast – Deepika Padukone as Alisha Khanna, Ananya Panday as Tia Khanna (Alisha’s Cousin) , Siddhant Chaturvedi as Zain and Dhairya Karwa as Karan Arora (Alisha’s Husband), Naseeruddin Shah as Mr. Arora(Alisha’s Father), Rajat Kapoor as Sameer(Zain’s Father).
Alisha Khanna, ambitious, now finds herself at a crossroads in life. Her six year long relationship has grown monotonous, her career seems to be hitting a lot of roadblocks and just when she had begun to accept this reality as unchangeable, her life is usurped by the arrival of her cousin, Tia and her fiancé, Zain, with whom she bonds over a troubled past and a common wish to break from its confines. The story charts the journey of Alisha and Zain, as they confront the ghost of their past on the path they take to avoid it.
Gehraiyaan’s appeal goes beyond the A-list names it boasts of or that smoldering kiss between Deepika and Siddhant. The magic and the juice comes from its captain – Shakun Batra, a director whose sensibilities have been on point so far. Even though the 2012 release, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu didn’t work at the box office, despite an A-list cast – Kareena Kapoor Khan and Imran Khan, Shakun’s take on relationships came across as real and fresh. His 2016 film, Kapoor & Sons, was groundbreaking in being able to weave an LGBT narrative so subtly and beautifully in what was marketed as a mainstream commercial effort. Shakun’s Gehraiyaan, from what we hear, is perhaps his darkest take on the subject of love and longing. In a space crowded with remakes and dubbed films, Gehraiyaan has the potential to punch us in our emotional gut and fill the large void of a story that resonates with everyone who fell in and out of love.
For Deepika Padukone, Gehraiyaan might be a true game-changer too. It’s been a while since we have seen her stripped and bare of the cosmetic veil that surrounds a superstar. Deepika’s last outing in a lead role was Meghna Gulzar’s 2020 release Chhapaak – a film that somewhat strayed from what it set out to achieve. We recently watched Deepika on the big screen as Kapil Dev’s wife in the brilliantly made 83, and it reminded us of the magic she creates on the big screen. Even in those fleeting moments, Deepika reminded us why she’s still a force to reckon with. And if the word on the street is to be believed, then Deepika has outdone herself in Batra’s dark take on this relationship-tangle-gone-bad. We have seen her play different roles when it comes to showcasing the various facets of someone in love or even scorned – the turning point of her career was her soul-baring performance in Homi Adjani’s Cocktail, where she played the unapologetic Veronica. In Tamasha, she moved into a different territory as Tara and despite the film getting mixed reviews, it remains one of her bravest performances. With Gehraiyaan, Deepika has dug her nails deeper into her character and tried to showcase a side that we perhaps haven’t seen before – raw and unfiltered.
For Ananya Panday, Gehraiyaan is clearly the pinnacle of her very young career graph. She’s being touted as the surprise package in the film. For someone who clearly has managed to balance the murky territory of being just a cute face on the gram to signing films with A-list stars, Ananya definitely has made a space for herself in an insulated industry. In both Khali Peeli and Pati Patni Aur Woh, we managed to get glimpses of her acting chops and, even though the characters or the films weren’t something to rave about, there is an appeal to Ananya that is undeniable. For the Gen Z that she represents, Ananya has the spunk and, with Gehraiyaan, we might be able to see how much she can push herself if given the opportunity. The industry will definitely watch her performance in the film very closely and how she fares in the acting department will perhaps pave the way for her future films.
Siddhant Chaturvedi seems to have finally come out of the MC Sher tag that he’s been wearing ever since he broke out on the scene with the 2019 film Gully Boy. Siddhant is nothing like MC Sher in real life. Quite shy, an introvert who likes to pen down his thoughts through his lyrics on Instagram, Siddhant seems to be the perfect cast for the film.
Love and lust are emotions that have a common thread between all the four leads of Gehraiyaan and Siddhant’s crackling chemistry with Deepika has already created waves since that poster dropped on social media. In a highly competitive industry where a Friday decides your fate, Siddhant has managed to keep the curiosity among his fans alive. Even though his last release, Bunty Aur Babli 2, didn’t do wonders for him, Gehraiyaan might just do the trick. For those who have seen the rushes are raving about his scenes with Deepika, the rage and anger and all that heartbreak that he’s been able to bring to the table is being commended. This might be another breakthrough performance for the actor in 2022.
The fourth wheel in Gehraiyaan is Dhairya Karwa, who was recently seen in the role of Ravi Shastri in 83. We haven’t seen much of him other than in Uri: The Surgical Strike and 83, but his role in Shakun’s film is one that might put him under that spotlight that he’s been chasing. Launched by Karan Johar under his talent agency, Dhairya will have to go beyond his dapper looks and deep dive to be able to match up to the cast of Gehraiyaan. Being the newest kid in the group, there will also be pressure on him to deliver in the big scenes and how he matches up with his co-stars has to be seen. All it takes is a great monologue or a well-written scene for someone new to make an impression and from what the film promises, Gehraiyaan seems to have many such moments.
Like its title, Gehraiyaan seems to be an opportunity for its lead actors to dive deep and get back in touch with their craft and reinvent themselves. Such chances come rarely. And we hope the actors grab it and make the most of it.
The film was initially scheduled for a digital premiere on 25 January 2022,but it was later revealed that the film will be available for streaming globally on 11 February 2022, through Amazon Prime Video.