Gehraiyaan director Shakun Batra on film's intimate scenes: 'I'm not playing it for shock value

Published on Feb 08, 2022 10:24 AM IST

Gehraiyaan director Shakun Batra and actor Dhairya Karwa talk about the focus on the intimate scenes in the film, and the experience of shooting with an ensemble cast.

Director Shakun Batra's film Gehraiyaan has been in talks for the intimate scenes it features.
Director Shakun Batra's film Gehraiyaan has been in talks for the intimate scenes it features.
ByAbhimanyu Mathur

Filmmaker Shakun Batra's next film Gehraiyaan is almost ready for release. The director has described his film as a 'mirror into modern adult relationships'. But since the trailer first dropped in December, one of the biggest talking points around the film has been the intimate scenes between lead actors Deepika Padukone and Siddhant Chaturvedi.

The focus on the intimacy in the film was increased by the fact that Shakun hired an intimacy director. But the filmmaker feels all the talk around the intimacy in the film is giving it too much importance. "I think there are more conversations about intimacy than probably the story deserves," he tells us.

Shakun maintains that though integral, intimacy is but a small part of the film's narrative. "Intimacy is a very small part of this big story and I know people would feel that way when they watch. Yes, I wanted to give it respect like any other department. I wanted the actors to feel safe, secure," he says.

He adds that the reason he engaged Dar Gai--the film's intimacy director--was to make it more subtle and not bolder, as many are assuming. He says, "I wasn't getting the intimacy director to make it bolder. I was trying to make the experience respectful. So that's why, for me, the conversation is never about glorifying it. If anything, I am trying to make it subtler, less titillating and less scandalising. I am not playing it for shock value."

Gehraiyaan is a film that deals with infidelity. Shakun admits that while dealing with such a complex subject, it is a challenge to make characters relatable but not judge them either. He says, "For me, it is a responsibility that when I take a character or a subject - in this case infidelity - I make sure I'm not trying to take sides but make sure that the audience comes in with the same curiosity that I had. Let them arrive at an answer as opposed to me telling them. The attempt is that."

Dhairya Karwa and Deepika Padukone in a still from Gehraiyaan.
Dhairya Karwa and Deepika Padukone in a still from Gehraiyaan.

Apart from Deepika and Siddhant, the film also stars Ananya Panday and Dhairya Karwa. For Dhairya, being part of an ensemble in sense is a collaborative effort. The actor says he never felt the need to compete or outshine his co-actors. He tells us, "What I have understood is that you are as good as the story and you have to understand your part in it. You cannot be trying to compete for space or overplay your co-actor. When you do your part diligently, people will see that. The audience is smart. Do what's required of you and do it honestly."

Also read: Dhairya Karwa once refused to click photos with Deepika Padukone. Here’s why

Gehraiyaan will release on Amazon Prime Video on February 11, 2022. The film was initially set to release on January 25 but the date was postponed on January 5. The film is backed by Karan Johar's Dharma Productions and Viacom18 Studios.


    Abhimanyu Mathur is an entertainment journalist with Hindustan Times. He writes about cinema, TV, and OTT, churning out interviews, reviews, and good old news stories.

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