Gehraiyaan Review (SPOILERS): A Plot in Dialogue With A Different Familiar Story

Oh, I am SO EXCITED to talk about this plot! And the clever little ways it pays homage to film classics. And also, how Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor were INSANELY beautiful.

Whole Plot in One Paragraph:

Deepika and Ananya are cousins but have grown apart. Ananya’s father ran the family business and she grew up rich. Deepika’s father Naseeruddin left the family business and started a dairy on his own and she grew up less well off. Deepika is in a long term relationship with their mutual friend Dhairya Karwa, supporting him by teaching yoga while he tries to write a novel. Ananya invites Deepika and Karan to spend the weekend at the family beach house and meet her fiance, Siddhant Chaturvedi. Deepika and Siddhant immediately spark off of each other and soon they have started an affair. Deepika tries to break it off, but Siddhant insists they can make it work, he just has to finish his one big deal that will make them rich, and then he can break it off with Ananya. Deepika breaks up with Dhairya and starts planning a life with Siddhant. Siddhant is serious, asks his business partner Rajat Kapoor how fast they can pay back Ananya’s money. But then they get caught up in a banking scandal and Siddhant needs to borrow even more from Ananya. And Deepika is pregnant. Siddhant is torn between the two women and considers killing Ananya, before finally trying to kill Deepika by throwing her off his yacht. She fights back, and kills him. In the aftermath, Ananya confesses to her that Ananya stole her inheritance. Deepika’s mother and Ananya’s father had an affair, they are half sisters. That is why Deepika’s mother killed herself and her father left the wealth of the family behind. Deepika was supposed to inherent in Ananya’s father’s will, but she talked him out of it. Deepika then goes to talk to her father, who has figured out at least part of what has happened with Siddhant, and he reassures her that she is strong and she will survive this. Two years later, Deepika and her father are very close and she is planning to move him back with her. Dhairya is engaged to someone else and very happy. Deepika and Ananya meet at the engagement part and agree that truth is the best way. Just then, an old woman who had met Siddhant and Deepika together comes up and recognizes her. Movie Ends.

Okay, gotta get this out of the way first, it’s An American Tragedy. Theodore Dreiser’s famous novel, remade as the movie A Place in the Sun. And then again, loosely, as Match Point. And a million other times in a million other places.

The central idea is class and gender. Our hero has a chance to jump classes by marrying the Perfect Rich Girl. But in the meantime, he is killing time with the easy poor girl, the one he doesn’t have to try for. Until the easy girl gets pregnant and becomes the obstacle in his way. Stuck between the two, he takes the poor girl out on a boat and she falls in the water and dies. It’s purposefully unclear if he murdered her or not. He didn’t try to save her, at the very least. And then he is arrested and sentenced to death.

It’s a brilliant story because it is about class and ambition. Our hero is internally conflicted, does he really want to jump classes by marrying the rich girl? Why does he keep being drawn back to the poor girl? Why did he fail to cover up the culpability for her death? Why did he make it so easy for him to be caught? Was it because, inevitably, people can’t jump class because they have internalized their own failures? Because seeking power and success just for the sake of power and success is empty?

There’s another British version of the story, Room at the Top, in which our hero is torn between the older married woman with whom he is having an affair and the pretty rich girl he could marry. He breaks things off with the affair woman eventually and she kills herself. He marries the rich girl, but it is empty, and he is facing a life of going through the motions without really feeling anything. And then there’s Woody Allen’s Match Point, in which our hero actually gets away with killing the poor girl, and it is the rich girl who is pregnant, not the poor one. I haven’t seen that version, but I don’t like it. All the other versions are “tragedies”, in that, our protagonist has one tragic flaw which will forever keep him from happiness. I don’t want to see a version where our hero actually succeeds.

Okay, the reason I am spending so long laying out this heritage is because we are SUPPOSED to have that heritage in our mind. The “Gehraiyan”, the constant images of waves, it is a reference to An American Tragedy/A Place in the Sun and the famous death scene of accident/murder on a boat. This movie takes the same love triangle, the same struggling conflicted ambitious flawed hero, and flips it and says “wait a minute, let’s look at what it does to women when society crafts men like this”. It’s not a straight forward “men suck” storyline, it establishes that there is a reason our hero is like that, society has made him this way, the drive for material signs of wealth, the constant reminders of where he came from, etc. But the women around him are collateral damage of his tragic flaws, and that’s not fair.

This movie looks at who those women are, and gives dignity to their relationships. One thing I thought was well done, we see that the class difference between the two women is largely internal. Making them cousins makes it even clearer. Ananya went overseas for school. Ananya has a lovely beach house. Ananya has clean nice rooms and a rich handsome fiance. But they are both part of the elite world of Bombay, they are both comfortable in the elite world of Bombay. And eventually we find out they aren’t even cousins, but sisters. It’s not some fantasy romantic line between the “average” girl and the “Magic” girl. It’s that Ananya is rich and Deepika is less rich. Siddhant sees Ananya as money and Deepika as sex, no matter how much he tries to romanticize it or convince Deepika it is different.

The film starts out by talking about “choices” and what it eventually shows is that the people you think are making good choices because of how their lives are lived are in fact making bad choices, and vice versa. Deepika thinks her father made a bad choice by walking away from the family and going out on his own. She thinks he caused her mother to kill herself in misery, and is currently living a miserable life, and has caused her own sense of being stuck in one place. But the truth is that her mother was having an affair with her brother-in-law, the guilt over that was what killed her and moving away freed them. Deepika was free to support herself, to feel independent, to make decisions on her own. Ananya seemingly makes “good” choices, but in reality we see she has no independence, no career, is at the mercy of Siddhant because she can’t see anything else for herself, and is further at the mercy of her mother who shamelessly guilts her into doing whatever she wants.

Deepika, ultimately, chooses not to die. That’s what’s most important about this story. The inconvenient mistress, the pregnant woman who is getting in the way, she is supposed to fade into nothing, to remove herself from the hero’s path. That’s what Deepika’s mother did, she allowed her guilt to eat her alive. But Deepika doesn’t do that, she won’t accept death as punishment for infidelity.

One thing I really noticed about the final sequence is how sunny and light it was. Literally sunny and light. It’s not that anything changed, it’s that how we saw things changed. Naseeruddin wasn’t living in squalor and misery a failure in life, he was succeeding in his independent life in a pleasant large sunny house. Deepika didn’t have to walk hunched over and pinched face, she can smile and move freely. And yes, she is still working a lot, but it’s okay. She works, she visits her father on the weekend, life isn’t all that bad.

An American Tragedy is about the incapability of ever being satisfied with what you have, ever stop wanting. But this movie is about the opposite. About Deepika simply letting go and accepting the good things she has instead of yearning for what she only imagines.

There’s sooooooooooooooooooooo much more left to discuss, but I will leave that to y’all to talk about!!!! For now I will just give a simple question, who is more beautiful (because this story only works if it is about beautiful people who believe they are destined for better things)?

Montgomery Clift

Elizabeth Taylor

ELIZABETH TAYLOR and MONTGOMERY CLIFT in A PLACE IN THE SUN -1951-.  Photograph by Album

Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone, Ananya Panday & Siddhant Chaturvedi announce Gehraiyaan;  OTT release on 25 January | PINKVILLA

42 thoughts on “Gehraiyaan Review (SPOILERS): A Plot in Dialogue With A Different Familiar Story

  1. This maybe an unpopular opinion but here goes.

    I don’t think Deepika’s mother killed herself because of the guilt of having an affair. I think she killed herself because she still felt stuck and she wasn’t “supposed” to. Her husband knew about the affair and forgave her. She was supposed to feel grateful and lucky but she didn’t. Naseeruddin even asks Deepika if her mother told her that she killed herself because she still felt stuck and if she killed herself because of him. He’s not sure.

    Here it’s important that Deepika broke up with her BF even though he proposed and she was cheating on him because he was not right for her. He might be a nice guy, but he was selfish and she was unhappy! She chose herself! She realized that she cheated for a reason. Her mother chose to let guilt over cheating make the choices for her. She chose to stay with Nasserji but she was still unhappy with him. Naseerji might be a nice guy, but her mom still felt suffocated in the relationship. Her mom did feel stuck. This goes back to Shakun Batra’s vision of making a movie that isn’t judgmental about cheating but shows why it might happen in a realistic, emotionally messy but real way.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oooo, yes! That makes so much more sense than just guilt. It’s about being stuck in a pattern. Deepika could just put up with Karan and be unhappy forever, or let herself fall apart when she learned that Siddhant was planning to kill her, but instead she broke free and did something different. Ananya did too, in a small way. Instead of living with bitterness and doubt and misery like her mother did, she told Deepika the truth and then accepted that siddhant was cheating her and seemingly moved on to a better place.

      Heck, even Siddhant’s unseen mother fit into the pattern, choosing to stay in her abusive marriage. Unlike Dips, who fought back and left.

      I agree about showing cheating in a realistic way. We see how both of them were just going through the motions in their relationships without being able to find a reason to end it. And we saw them legitimately fall in love. While still landing on “it’s a fantasy, it’s more about what you need and what’s happening with you than it is ‘love'”. The ease with which it all fell apart also felt realistic. Once it got too real, too much like their original relationships (Dips making demands on Siddhant, him ignoring her), then suddenly they were out of love as quickly as they were in love.

      I also appreciated the care with which we saw where their relationships were at the start of the movie. Neither of them were married, neither had made that final commitment yet. There were no kids involved. Dips was supporting her boyfriend, not the other way around, they weren’t economically entangled. And Siddhant was pulling away from Ananya until the money brought him back in. Two relationships that weren’t worth saving. We even saw at the end that Dips did a favor to Karan, he found someone else who was just happy to be with him. To me at least it was pretty clear that if Siddhant had been able to break from Ananya, he never would have made it with Dips for long. And vice versa, she was going to get pulled back into that feeling of guilt and habit and stuck.

      On Sun, Feb 13, 2022 at 1:57 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Thank you! I agree with all of this!

        Also continuing with the same theme, why do people cheat? Is the cheater always to blame? Should the guilt consume you? Deepika cheats on Dhairya but he is selfish and privileged, and takes her for granted. He’s one of those people that will always be a caring friend but a terrible boyfriend. Something many women can relate to. Ananya cheats Deepika out of her inheritance because she feels bad for her mother and all that she went through. Deepika’s mom cheats on her dad because she feels stuck, or maybe because her dad is an alcoholic (it’s left unclear whether he becomes an alcoholic afterwards or before), maybe because he’s not ambitious. Or she cheats on him maybe because there is nothing wrong with him but she’s just unhappy! Siddhant cheats on Ananya because he always felt an obligation to her but never love. Siddhant cheats on Deepika because he feels he has no choice and needs to look out for himself. Rajat and Siddhant cheat in their business because they think that’s the only way to succeed after the scandal.

        Also, I loved how abuse, manipulation, and neglect are depicted in this movie. The obvious one is Siddhant who comes from an abusive household but also saw his mother never protect herself or him from his dad. Most people wouldn’t dream about killing their fiancé or their girlfriend, but coming from an abusive household, having those thoughts isn’t out of the ordinary for him. He probably thought about killing his dad a lot.

        Then there is Ananya, whose mom used the fact that her husband cheated on her to continuously use that to manipulate Ananya and also make Ananya codependent on her. This is another thing you see, women who stay in bad marriages for the sake of their children but then put that on their children. They “sacrificed” so much for the child so now the child’s sole purpose in life should be to keep make the parent happy. 🙄. Ananya’s life becomes all about pleasing her mom, getting her approval, trying to keep her happy. So much so that she’s willing to hurt her cousin to do so. Also, Ananya is constantly on the phone with her mother, even during the party! This is codependency! Her mother made her choice, but instead of accepting that, she put it all on Ananya.

        Finally, Deepika and Naseerji. He got hurt by his wife; that sucks. But he used that to neglect his daughter. His daughter raised herself. While Dhairya and Ananya were in college, she was working all night and then calling around to find her dad who was drunk somewhere! That’s not what a college aged person should be doing! Deepika just sees her life as having to constantly be the grown up, having to always slog at work and take care of the people around her. At the same time, neglect is her trigger! She loses it when Dhairya and Shiddhanth neglect her because that’s what her father did.

        These are all very realistic depictions of abuse, manipulation, neglect.

        Okay that’s all for now…. I think! 😊

        Liked by 2 people

        • Yes! I love the depiction of Ananya’s mother. And it’s not just how she keeps Ananya close, she is also constantly trying to control Ananya’s relationship with Siddhant. She needs to be in charge of everything between them. It also brings up the question of why her father cheated. Was it because his wife treated him like Ananya is treating Siddhant? Like their relationship was a game, not love? The fact that Ananya’s Mom rushed her to America in order to convince her father through guilt not to leave the house to Deepika makes me think she always saw guilt and pressure as the way a relationship should work.

          I am so glad that we saw Ananya single at the end. For a second I thought she was getting engaged to Karan, but this ending is so much better. She is confident and reaching out to Deepika and not in a relationship, just being herself. Maybe learning that Siddhant lied and cheated to her so much, at the same time she starts to feel guilt for how she lied and cheated Deepika, is a trigger to break her away into a new life.

          Looking at Naseerji and Dips, the ending is a twist but also perfect. Deepika’s issues stemmed from her father. She wouldn’t have that combo of enabler and afraid to be alone without him. So of course her happy ending means finally resolving her issues with her father, mutual forgiveness and love. Why keep trying to find the perfect love that will heal her issues, when she can just go back to the source of the issues and solve them there?

          On the other hand, we have Siddhant who ran from his past. Not saying you should forgive or stay in an abusive family, but I think it’s pretty clear that Siddhant just goes to escape, getting away from the problem. Him trying to kill Dips is exactly what his pattern is. But Dips fighting back is not her pattern, that’s her not accepting just being second place.

          I’ll also say, this is the movie I wanted for KANK! Karan went with “True Perfect LOVE”. But he could have/should have gone with “sometimes marriages just run out of time and it’s easier to cheat and force the issue than ask for a divorce”. He did a good job, I think, establishing that these were two BAD marriages. He just couldn’t leave it at that, he had to bring in true love too. This movie is brave enough to say “sometimes relationships are bad and that’s why people cheat”.

          New topic, how great was the way this movie dealt with money??? That’s something I remember from Kapoor & Sons too. And Dil Dhadakne Do. Money is a big deal, until you decide it isn’t. Siddhant has to have a yacht, rooms at the Taj, everything the best. Dips wants a nicer bigger apartment, a nicer yoga studio, an app instead of just being a yoga teacher. Siddhant keeps talking about needing to make this deal happen and losing everything and so on and so forth, but it’s all this funny money kind of money. No one is starving, no one is homeless. And in the end, Dips is still teaching yoga classes and taking rickshaws, she just doesn’t mind any more. I guess what I like is that the movie seems able to take a step back and say “these people are freaking out, but in the real world, we know that they are giving money more power than it has”.

          On Sun, Feb 13, 2022 at 4:53 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yes! This is why I hate KANK. SRK and Rani should not have been together at the end. That isn’t true love. They need to figure themselves out first, get therapy, grow and then if they are still in love, they can be together. But if they did any of this, they would realize that they were never in love, they just used each other to end their marriages because they were miserable in their respective marriages. Ugh, I really don’t like KANK.

            Anyways, regarding money, yes, I was thinking the whole time that this isn’t a rich vs poor thing. This is a rich vs upper middle class thing. Deepika is sad because she didn’t get to go to the US for college. Dhairya’s choices are working for an ad agency or staying at home to write a novel. I thought this was so smart because the point of the movie wasn’t that these people made choices out of desperation from poverty. They all live comfortable lives by any standard. But it’s easy to get caught up in feeling jealous over people who get to study abroad, sail in a yacht, and live in 5-star hotels. But again, that really doesn’t mean anything in the end.

            Can we also discuss Dhairya for a second? His character annoyed me so much and (I think) that was precisely the director’s purpose. He wasn’t just a nice guy who Deepika cheated on with a rich guy. He was awful! He treated Deepika like crap. He was neglectful. But here again, money was depicted in an interesting way. Dhairya doesn’t care about living like a “poor artist” because if things get that bad, as he says, he can ask his parents for some money. He is fine going to stay at the bungalow to write. Deepika feels embarrassed and like she’d be taking advantage of her rich cousin if she stayed at the bungalow. But she doesn’t mind when Sid pays for her. Yes, she’s apprehensive and doesn’t want it as a favor, but even things like teaching her to drive the yatch, she’s okay with that because she thinks Sid “earned” that himself.

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          • Yes! Dhairya is fascinating! Because I found him someone who was defined as not a bad person, just a bad person in his relationship with Dips. An interesting contrast with Sidd, who will inevitably be the same in every relationship (lying, user, etc.). But Dhairya we know seems to be charming and kind and supportive both as a friend of Ananya and in that glimpse we get of him at the end. Even his break up with Dips is better than his relationship with her. He tries to see her again, but accepts it when she has moved on. He disappears from her life, which is appropriate. Unlike Sidd who pushed his way back in by selling her a fantasy. And I also thought it was SUPER important that we know Dhairya has been her friend since childhood, and they have been together for 6 years when we meet them. 6 years in, they are together out of habit, and the habit is that Dips takes care of him. Dips is stuck in so many ways, going back to only being able to build a close relationship with a childhood friend. We can imagine that at some point, Dhairya was bringing in more of the money in the household, was engaged and involved in their relationship, but every time he asked for something and Dips gave in, it got worse. Dips is so alone at the start, it makes sense that she is afraid to take the leap and leave this relationship. And it makes sense that on some level Dhairya knows she will never really leave him so he can just keep taking and taking and taking.

            Yes with money!!! I’ve thought about this with Yash Chopra films before, making all the characters rich sort of clears the decks in a way. We can focus on power and relationships and ignore the other parts of life. Ananya is rich-rich, rich on a level where it has literally never occurred to her to have a job or think about money in any real way. Taking Dips inheritance, for Ananya, was purely an emotional and relationship decision. It truly didn’t occur to her that this very valuable real estate property might be life changing for Dips and her father. Ananya is able to be innocent and pure in a way that can only happen when money has insulated you from everything bad that can ever happen. Dips is rich enough that she can want, if that makes sense. She isn’t just focused on making rent for next month, which means she can start thinking about wanting to move to a nicer place. And Dhairya has to work, because he’s a Man, but otherwise is like Ananya. Money is always there if you need it.

            Oh! Here’s what it is! Sidd sees money as money, the numbers, the power, he will never stop wanting or have enough. Dips sees money for what it can give her, a nicer house, more free time. At first they seem similar because they are both aware that money is important and is a thing you have to work for and earn. But ultimately, Dips is ready to walk away from everything because she knows money isn’t everything, while Sidd cannot let it go. And for Ananya, money is just an emotional thing. Which means that Sidd stealing her house is a fully emotional betrayal, she can’t conceive of it as a monetary decision.

            On Tue, Feb 15, 2022 at 7:39 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yes! Money doesn’t matter to Ananya because she has always had it ( LOTS of it). It’s all about the emotional and personal feelings. We see that in a negative light with regards to the bunglow, but we see that in a positive light when it comes to her giving money to Sid without ever thinking about it. As Rajat Kapoor always seems to say, if Sid needs money, just ask Ananya. She will give it to him. Same with her just offering her bunglow to Dhairya. Money, bunglow, yatch are just things for her. Growing up so rich, she is easily willing to share any of these things and doesn’t understand why Deepika (someone who is less well off than she is) would be embarrased to accept these things or why Sidd would feel suffocated and obligated to her because of the money she has given him.

            This is why I struggle with what would happen if she found out that Deepika had an affair with Sidd. I don’t think she cared so much that Sidd financially cheated her. She was a mess because Sidd was so stressed that he was on anxiety pills. She was willing to remove Deepika from the will because her mom would be upset. So, if she found out Deepika (who she considers a sister) had an affair with her fiance, that is emotionally much more unforgivable to her, than any amount of financial fraud. However, because emotions and relationships matter so much to her, Sidd trying to hurt/kill Deepika would also make that the ultimate betrayal of Ananya’s trust. It doesn’t matter to her that Sidd was going to steal from her. But if she thought he would hurt her cousin, I think she would have been firmly on Deepika’s side.

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      • I too feel that it was the feeling of being stuck, not just guilt, which led to her mother killing herself. It’s such a tragic story! It’s easy to fully switch our sympathies to Naseer when we learn the truth, but I wonder how much was he at fault as a husband that led her to cheat. But then, for him to accept her and Deepika shows he wanted to do better and was willing to move on from the past, which her mother was unable to do.

        ‘accepted that siddhant was cheating her’ – you mean financially right? She never realized him cheating in their relationship, she shut down Rajat when he suggested that.

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        • Yes, financially. Which I thought was interesting, Ananya never learned about him cheating romantically, but the financial cheating was just as much a betrayal of their love and her judgement. Cheating, being unfaithful in a relationship, takes many forms.

          Here’s an interesting parelal, Dips’ mother stayed in the relationship and felt stuck and killed herself and Naseerji (understandably) never fully recovered. On the other hand, Dips stayed strong and firm and broke up with Karan, and he went on to find someone who loved him and he loved her and was very very happy. The better thing to do is to just end it when you stop feeling love, otherwise you are torturing both people.

          On Sun, Feb 13, 2022 at 7:42 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          Liked by 2 people

  2. Hoy boy! On a first watch, the last hour gave me severe anxiety. I’ve watched it twice now, so much easier on the second. There is this cyclical element (ha!) to it all. Two different, but related in-laws have an affair. Mother has depression and the daughter gets anxiety. Ananya is in the same situation as her mother. Zain comes from an abusive household and then turns abusive, ready to kill. I suspect there might be more, but I can’t think of anything right now. The script is so good! So simple yet complicated.

    HA! I was right! Someone got killed! Not who I was expecting, but I still called the Ananya drowning attempt – even if it was imaginary.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes! Cyclical! And I’ll give you another one, Naseerji tried to save both women. And he succeeded in saving his daughter where he failed with his wife, brought her to a sanctuary and gave her the unquestioning support and love she needed to find her own strength. Or maybe that was a break in the cycle? Instead of being resentful and judgemental as we saw in the opening, he is loving and understanding and supportive with Dips and she flourished where her mother broke.

      Another break in the cycle, Dips ended the pregnancy. That surprised me, I guess because it would have been the easy ending? We see Dips and her Dad and a baby living a happy life together. But no, she didn’t do what her mother did, she didn’t bring in a baby who would be a constant reminder of the worst part of her life.

      On Sun, Feb 13, 2022 at 3:08 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I don’t think that was a choice. She must have been so stressed, also without her anxiety pills, that she miscarried. I don’t think it was intentional, but in a way for the story to give her a way out – to be completely cleansed of what happened. So that it would be easier to move on from that low point.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Did I miss something, did we see the miss-carriage onscreen? Or just the lack of a baby later?

          On Sun, Feb 13, 2022 at 4:27 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • THANK YOU! Yeah, I was so stressed by that point I kept looking down at my phone. I am a Bad Reviewer.

            On Sun, Feb 13, 2022 at 4:46 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Yeah, all three of them were repeating their parental behavioral patterns – their respective mothers for Deepika and Ananya, and his father for Sid. Kind of chilling when you think about it!

      I totally went ‘hey someone from DCIB called this!’ when it happened! I was blindsided, I didn’t think it would go in this direction at all.

      Liked by 2 people

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  6. I haven’t seen Elizabeth Taylor in motion, and I’ve only seen Clift in sad, depressed roles, so I’ll go with Deepika.

    Coming out of this, I find myself wondering the most about Sid’s character. I’ve seen opinions ranging from ‘his sudden turn was so unexpected given what came before’ to the opposite ‘he’s a narcissist, of course he would do this’. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, no? At least I never read him as a pre-destined villain. He has a selfish streak, apparent from childhood story, but people can grow up and make amends. (I saw a theory that the story could be another lie he told Deepika). He did seem to be genuinely trying to break away from Ananya. So he was trying to do the right thing, until it threatened his financial ambitions. And like you said, it wasn’t that he was going to become homeless, he just would lose his current status. He could’ve made the choice to do that and come clean, but he made the wrong choice. From what I remember of Match Point, the man never intended to do the right thing.

    On the rewatch, I noticed how Ananya was a bit uncomfortable and on edge around Deepika because she too was hiding a secret, I appreciated her acting more. A comment which got me thinking is how Deepika now has the status of a male star in the industry, where if a film revolves around her, her co-stars have to be her juniors. This could have been juicier with someone like Ranbir in Sid’s role. I liked Sid a lot, but his youthfulness came acrossin a few instances which needed heft. I know we hate Ranbir here, but those same reasons would make him perfect for the role – empty charm, narcissistic,..

    Any thoughts on what happened after the ending? The lady was surely going to bring up Zain and them being on the yacht.

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    • There’s also the irony that if Zain knew Deepika was the property owner, she could’ve bailed him out, he could’ve just left Ananya. But then Deepika would have been stuck with him.

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      • Yep!!! I think maybe that was left open for the audience to complete the thought, “Oh! If only he’d known she had the property, he wouldn’t have tried to kill her! No wait, he would have just found a different reason to do it, he will always take and want too much”.

        On Sun, Feb 13, 2022 at 10:46 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I thought Siddhant’s character made perfect sense. Even when he was planning to leave Ananya and be with Dips, we also learned he was using her yoga studio as a tax shelter. Ultimately, there is a line of selfishness in him, he will always pick what is best for himself in every situation. He was torn, he was ready to kill Ananya for a second, but when it got down to losing everything or giving up Dips, he was gonna give up Dips. And there was that tinge of wanting to see himself as the “good guy”. Like, when Dips told him she was pregnant, he just had to be the perfect guy and say it will all be okay and he would be there for her and so on and so forth. He starts out sincere, and then he can’t pull back and change, can’t let himself be “the bad guy” when he starts to feel conflicted. It’s easier to just pretend and pretend and pretend that it is all okay. Which, come to think of it, is another thing from an abusive childhood!!! He learned to pretend his family was happy and normal and hide the problems instead of confronting them.

      I think Sid’s casting worked sort of like Ananya’s did. He is supposed to be slightly immature, slightly faking it. So casting a less experienced and less star power actor sort of went along with that, just like casting Ananya made us feel her innocence a little more. And yes, I thought Ananya’s performance was great!!! This constant feel of trying a little too hard around Dips, but not being comfortable.

      I have to say, I thought the open ending was a little bit cheap. I would have liked an open ending that was more “and now Dips and Ananya will become friends”, instead of “ooooo, secrets revealed!” Actually, I would have liked an open ending that was their conversation about truth being good, and then Dips turning to her and saying “i have to tell you something” and fade to black. As it is, I think the woman will say something, Dips will brush past it but Ananya will be suspicious, and it will end in the same place, Dips has to tell Ananya the truth. I actually think it could be really good for them, with the perspective of 2 years later. Dips will be able to clearly explain how the affair was about where she was in life and what Sid needed and not about Ananya. And Ananya has already processed that Sid stole from her, adding on that he was cheating and also tried to kill Dips won’t be much more. Heck, I would like that as a closed ending! Actually seeing the conversation and watching the two women work through how this was about themselves and not Sidd at all (Ananya being too innocent and unquestioning in the relationship, Dips desperately wanting to feel loved). The really cool thing would be them realizing that they complete each other. Ananya can give Dips the unconditional love she craves, and Dips can give Ananya the toughness and independence she needs.

      On Sun, Feb 13, 2022 at 10:10 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I have been going back and forth about Deepika revealing the truth. Of course Ananya deserves to know the whole thing. But I don’t know if they can repair their relationship after that. From Ananya’s point of view, it’s a double betrayal – first Deepika’s mother doing it to her mother, and now her. If she can forgive Deepika, she might be a bigger person than me! At least, I see another two years before they might reconcile. Because the other thing is, I do think Deepika starting the affair was partly due to her resentment of Ananya. She says how their life was similar in childhood, and now begrudges that Ananya seems to be doing better. She sees hooking up with Sid as ‘I deserve whatever Ananya has’. By the end, she does come to care for Ananya after going through everything. But Ananya still has to know the whole truth and make that journey to forgiveness if they are to reconcile.

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        • I don’t know, I would hope that Ananya could react differently from her mother partly thanks to having seen the bad choices her mother made. It’s back to cycles, right? Can she break out of the bitterness and resentment and find a different way? Her mother resented Deepika getting anything in a will, that was how impossible it was for her to move on even after both parties to the affair were dead. She nursed her bitterness like it was the only thing in her life.

          Looking at it from Ananya’s side, the story she is hearing is not just “I had an affair with your fiance” but also “he lied to me as much as he lied to you and then tried to kill me”. Part of the story is that almost certainly Deepika saved Ananya’s life along with her own, right? Sidd was not going to stop at killing once, it was clearly his go to move when things got tough. That’s an interesting choice the filmmakers made, to have this slow build of Sidd being just a baaaaaaaaaad dangerous person all around. Far more than simply cheating in a relationship.

          On Mon, Feb 14, 2022 at 1:14 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I don’t know that it was necessarily that her mom was bitter about the affair. She would obviously want all property (especially such a prestigious one – a house in Alibag is $$$$$$) going to her child rather than an affair child – to me that’s a very natural reaction, regardless of how many years have passed.

            And she didn’t seem like she was manipulating Ananya – more like she had the life experience to know that Ananya was getting played and was making the same mistakes she did when she was young.

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          • Ananya frames it as “I couldn’t let my mother be hurt again.” But you are right, it isn’t necessarily that she is still bitter, but she is at least telling Ananya that this is some sort of noble effort to protect her from harm instead of just stealing an inheritance.

            On Tue, Feb 22, 2022 at 4:23 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I thought Sid was the weakest link in the movie. Deepika and Ananya were amazing – played their roles to the max, but Siddhant just seemed to be there – a blank slate.

      It made me think that’s who he was – a narcissist mirroring Ananya’s and Deepika’s desires back at them. Also, it was interesting how he debated which woman he would kill. And then how easy it was for him to actually get to execution.

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  7. I kept reading comments waiting for the discussion of the last line. I was punched in the gut by it. Of course the auntie is going to reveal how she met her and I don’t think the girls will come back from it. I think Deepika goes to prison for murder, even in self-defense (India after all) and Ananya will always blame her for Sid’s death. You guys gave it such a generous spin, I didn’t see it at all that way!

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    • You gave it such a dark spin! You needed to hold your dog tighter!!!

      But also, yes, I can see that. Then the message is that Dips gets two years to rebuild her life and be happy, and Ananya gets two years to be strong, and then they are dragged right back to where they were. And instead of us seeing it all play out, we just see the first domino falling.

      I don’t want it to be that though! I want it to be open, left open to the audience to decide if this is a moment of “the truth will set you free” or not. Also, this being India, I’m gonna say that if Ananya forgives her/wants to cover the scandal, Dips will not be going to jail. She already dealt with Rajat, if Ananya and she get together and say “oh, you must be mistaken, she must have said “this is my cousin’s fiance”” the old woman has nothing.

      On Tue, Feb 15, 2022 at 7:17 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. Honestly this is one of those movies which I felt was well made but I couldn’t connect to it at all and found it too be really boring. But I will say that the discussion about the movie in these comments was very interesting and made me think about the movie in various different ways.

    Like

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