• WARNING: Spoilers

    Alisha (Deepika Padukone), a yoga instructor, believes that her personal and professional lives are in shambles. She's having trouble finding an investor for her fitness software, and her six-year relationship with Karan, a struggling writer, has reached a stalemate. Just when she thinks she's had enough of her boring life, her filthy rich cousin (Ananya Panday) and her hot-shot fiancee Zain show up (Siddhant Chaturvedi). Within a short period of time, Alisha and Zain become oddly attracted to each other and embark on a passionate love affair, keeping their respective partners in the dark. During their romantic encounters and passionate love-making sessions, the two bond over their traumatic past, blissfully unaware of the impending storm. An early moment in Gehraiyaan, which lasts only a few seconds, embodies the film's entire core. Alisha (Deepika Padukone), the film's protagonist, is viewing an old home movie. It's a scenario from a family vacation, and she recognizes something: her pre-teen self trying to put on a sweater, which gets trapped around her neck and covers her head. Alisha can't see or breathe, and she says she's "suffocating" to her mother. That sense of being trapped and suffocated, which dates back to her youth, has followed her throughout her life. Her mother used to describe the same sensation; when the anguish grew overwhelming, she hung herself from the ceiling fan (further suffocated herself). Alisha, like many other children of unhappy parents, fears that she, too, would become like them, that she, too, will be unable to escape their past. It's even more difficult for her because she is constantly reminded of her history. She had known Karan (Dhairya Karwa) and Tia while growing up in Mumbai for a few years (Ananya Pandey). For the past six years, Karan, a former ad writer currently working on a book (noob move), has been dating and living with Alisha. He is oblivious and inattentive because he is engrossed in his own world. Alisha, a yoga instructor, has been having trouble raising money for her mobile app. She avoids her father since she holds him responsible for her mother's death. She feels "suffocated" since the sweater has adhered to her again. However, she rekindles her friendship with Tia, and the childhood trio takes a break. There's a new member this time: her fiancee, Zain (Siddhant Chaturvedi). After some time, Alisha realizes that Zain, who has his own scars from the past, isn't all that different from her. He, like Alisha, was unable to save his mother. He isn't from a well-adjusted family, unlike Tia and Karan, and he isn't 'normal.' Zain is a warm blazing bulb in a sea of flickering and chilly tube lights: someone who has been there, someone who understands. They converse, drink, and tell stories. They flirt, joke, and hook up. The sweater is finally loosening up. Alisha can finally take a breath. This wonderful mix of awareness and perplexity makes perfect sense, because it highlights the film's most striking layer: Alisha is living a lie because she is intent on finding and moulding her story. The climax was surprising because we saw Zain, who Alisha had come to see as her anchor, change into someone who wanted to kill her because she had become an obstacle in his life. When Alisha discovers Zain's texts and notices him slipping tablets to her drink, she understands he's been lying to her yet again. In the ensuing brawl, Zain takes a knock to the head and falls off the yacht, killing himself. That's when Alisha returns to the mainland on her own. "Gehraiyaan" gets it right when it comes to how trauma may be passed down through generations and how, without correct guidance, we end up repeating the mistakes we are trying to avoid. Alisha began the affair to get out of a dead-end relationship in which she was trapped because she didn't want to be like her mother. However, when the truth was revealed, she realized she had made the same errors. She decides to accept her past and move on from it rather than resisting it in a very vulnerable chat with her father. This reminds us of something we've heard before: you can't get rid of your luggage; you can only learn to carry it in such a way that it doesn't seem as heavy over time. Another part of the conclusion is if Zain was aware of Alisha and Tia's reality and if this knowledge influenced any of his actions. We can only assume that even if he was aware, he did nothing about it because the entire property was obviously in Tia's name. The real kicker, though, comes in the final few seconds of the film. As Alisha makes the decision to put the past behind her, a phantom of it appears in front of her. The old woman who confronted Alisha in the end was someone Alisha and Zain had aided during one of their rendezvous on the yacht while they were still together. At the engagement party, Alisha runs into the old woman, who recognizes her and addresses her by her name. "Gehraiyaan" comes to an end here, and it's up to the audience to figure out what transpired. Is Alisha manage to redirect the topic and resolve it in time, or does the old woman explain to Tia how she knows Alisha and Zain? Is everything Alisha tries to put behind her about to resurface and cling to her even more tightly than before? Is it a hint that you'll never completely be able to let go of your past-messy relics will always find their way back into your life? That's the one part where we welcome the viewer's imagination being used.