It’s not about the sex

Natasha Malpani Oswal
2 min readFeb 16, 2022

Let’s get this straight: Gehraiyaan is *not* a film about cheating and intimacy.

I’m surprised by the outpouring of hate for Gehraiyaan. To me, this is a misunderstood film, largely in part to its sex-fuelled marketing strategy.

This is a layered movie on adult relationships. On secrets. Misunderstandings. Money. Family politics. Trying to love and trust in a web of lies. Sex is only a small part of it. And in the end, it doesn’t matter.

This film is, in fact, a reminder that intimacy is a tiny part of our relationships. Chemistry doesn’t matter when life gets in the way. The pressure of following your dreams, making money, being ‘successful’, trying to balance freedom and love can become more all-consuming than attraction.

Yes, Doobey is a gorgeous song, and that video was killer. But the affair between Al and Zain is the most lukewarm storyline in the film. The way they get together, why they choose to cheat, and how it ends frankly don’t add up. It’s all too sudden, both at the beginning and end.

Gehraiyaan is better viewed as a story about two cousins- Al and Tia- separated by family secrets and a class divide they can’t seem to bridge. It’s also a story of suffocation and starting again. The more Al tries to escape her past, the more it tightens its grip on her.

There’s room for more nuanced storytelling in Indian cinema: let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.



Natasha Malpani Oswal

vc. investing in startups + stories for a new india author of reinvention and boundless. aspiring yogi.