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Gehraiyaan review: Mental health expert wants Deepika Padukone starrer’s sequel; here’s why

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Gehraiyaan review: Mental health expert wants Deepika Padukone starrer’s sequel; here’s why

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Gehraiyaan starring Deepika Padukone, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Ananya Pandey, and Dhariya Karwa offers hope about complex human relationships. Shakun Batra must make a sequal of the film on the journey of healing, writes counselling psychologist Priyanka Tripathi

Gehraiyaan review: Mental health expert wants Deepika Padukone starrer’s sequel; here’s why
Since its inception, cinema has had the potential to regulate people's emotions. When we watch a comedy movie, we come out of theatres all cheerful, watching patriotic movies makes us a patriot, a romantic film makes us lost in the imagination of love and the list continues. It’s in those moments when one identifies with the character, situation, or the place where they wish to be.
Gehraiyaan starring Deepika Padukone, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Ananya Pandey, and Dhariya Karwa offers hope about complex human relationships. It begins with a young couple Alisha and Karan (Deepika and Dhairya) where one person feels stuck in the relationship. It continues as an emotional drama caused by unresolved childhood traumas resulting in infidelity and betrayal and then abruptly turns into a crime thriller.
It’s yet another attempt by filmmaker Shakun Batra, after Kapoor and Sons, to feature flawed individuals as parents, lovers, siblings, and even businessmen. The film fails to reach its highest potential in portraying complex relationships as promised in the trailer and at several promotional events.
Here’s why
1. The portrayal of characters is self-contradictory. The female protagonist Alisha played by Deepika at first says, “I am not leaving him for you but for me”, but does the exact opposite just hours later. She seemed a career-oriented woman initially who was struggling with past demons. However, she later finds herself making choices only to fall in the loop of feeling helpless.
Siddhant’s character Zain too shows contradiction to the extent that he decides to (spoiler alert) kill the “love” of his life.
2. The movie depicts the life of a high-society group that can afford to spend weekends on a yacht. A majority of the audience may find it hard to relate to this scenario.
3. Gehraiyaan further lacks chemistry between characters. The romantic relationship does not leave any impact. A single man (Zain) is seen manipulating two women at the same time, seemingly for money and career. Ananya Pandey’s Tia is just a ‘naive rich girl’, who is envied by her cousin Alisha.
However, there are a few wonderful things about the movie that make it a must-watch.
1. The acting is strong and intense by all the characters. Deepika Padukone especially has executed the role extremely well.
2. Karan and Tia’s friendship depicts how a boy and a girl can actually be just friends.
3. Despite its loose plot, the complexities grip the audience - a praiseworthy duality of the film.
Batra’s Gehraiyaan is a bold attempt to feature flawed individuals, how their past affects their present, how unresolved traumas lead to the repeated patterns of similar events, how professional and personal life are inter-dependent, how the choices people make can’t always fit the mould of good or bad but surely have consequences.
I won’t talk about infidelity as an issue because it’s just the tip of the iceberg, presenting big-time traumas of both parties. Alisha (Deepika) and Zain (Siddhant) are simply trying to escape their demons by indulging in infidelity. But, the movie makes it clear that one can’t find peace by escaping and not working on what’s bothering you deep inside to leave you in pieces. So, I urge viewers not to judge the characters on this basis.
The movie ends on a mysterious note, which may trigger Alisha’s traumas henceforth and get aggravated with any other setback in life until it’s resolved.
This happens to many of us many times. We feel that all is going well until an event of a difficult past makes a comeback. The movie silently emphasizes the need to heal ourselves and our inner children.
Feeling stuck and helpless is well executed by Deepika. She makes it relatable for people who fall into this loop repeatedly. Helplessness is a difficult emotion that makes it hard to tackle everyday obstacles as featured in the film. Until we let go of the past, it will keep haunting our present and will never let us have the future we wish.
Therefore, the need is to free ourselves from the past, live in here and now. This will surely lead to the desired future. It is definitely doable and makes you the creator of your life ahead. I hope Shakun Batra makes Gehraiyaan-2 on the journey of healing.
The author Priyanka Tripathi is a counselling psychologist, hypnotherapist, NLP practitioner and life coach. Views expressed are personal.
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