‘Gaslight’: Cast & Crew
Director: Pavan Kirpalani
Cast: Rahul Dev, Mannat Duggal, Shataf Figar, Ashmita Jaggi, Sara Ali Khan, Vikrant Massey, Akshay Oberoi, Manjiri Pupala, Shivika Rishi, Shishir Sharma, Chitrangda Singh, Chris Ward
Available On: Disney+ Hotstar
Duration: 1 Hour 51 Minutes
Sara Ali Khan, who returns to her royal family estate after 15 years to visit her estranged father, only finds out that he is missing. There are only a handful of people who could answer as to who might be responsible for the disappearance of her father. Will she finally be able to find out her father? Or are there more secrets that will spill in the course of the film? Well, you’ll have to watch the film to find out.
Vikrant Massey begins off with a totally forgettable performance, and you’re left wondering why the heck did he even sign up for this movie. However, it’s only during the climax of the movie that you get to know his real deal. He is raw and the adrenaline rush that he brought to the climax made the performance at least memorable. Not one of his finest, however.
Sara Ali Khan got the lion’s share of the screen time. From the trailer, you must have gotten that a lot of her performance depended on her being scared to shit, but somehow, she couldn’t pull that off to the best of her abilities. She just didn’t that convincing when assumedly she thought that there was a ghost in the palace. Her performance of being scared to her wits looked too forced to create a real impact. At the climax, you assume that she would pull her socks up and get the act perfect, but sadly, it wasn’t even close to what she has the potential for. ‘Kedarnath’ or even ‘Atrangi Re’ had a far better performance of her.
Chitrangda Singh, who had the least amount of screen time among the leads, somehow managed to pull off a performance worth remembering. Or maybe the other two were so bad that you had the classic case of ‘andho mein kana raja’. She was the ideal fit for the role. Even though she didn’t have much to do, the oomph and sensuousness that she brought to the character fit the bill perfectly, and that is exactly what the character demanded. So, full marks on getting that part right. In comparison to the other two, her performance, however, was the worst in the climax.
Akshay Oberoi’s character had the potential to do something big. His performance too was on point. He got that perfect negative shade to the character, which was suiting so perfectly on him. Sadly, his role was so short that you feel cheated. Kirpalani should have milked his character much more and brought his storyline to the forefront even better.
‘Gaslight’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects
Pavan Kirpalani and Neha Sharma’s script, which was loosely based on the 1961 British Film ‘Taste Of Fear’. Sadly in 2023, the story has become so predictable that you’re neither scared nor thrilled. The plot is too predictable right from the very initial montage shots when the little girl is seen enjoying her birthday party. As the screenplay constantly keeps focussing on the two little girls more than any of the other kids at the party, you’re left wondering whether or not this would have a connection later on. To add to that, the two little girls look pretty much like twins, which makes you wonder whether this will have a twin angle or not. And when the climax unfolds, you’re not a cent per cent correct, but you know you were in the right path. This is just one of the many things that block your mind from thinking out of the box and when in the climax you get to know what you were thinking was actually right, the entire fun of watching the film just dies down. It’s that predictable!
Pavan Kirpalani has been great when it comes to directing psychological thrillers, which have a tinge of horror element in them. Sadly, this one isn’t one of his finest. He misses the beat right from the very first instance, and therefore, the viewer is left wanting for more, and sadly, there is not much more to offer. And one of the most important questions – ‘Who was getting gaslit in the entire process?’ As it wasn’t that clear as to why the movie was called ‘Gaslight’.
Ragul Dharuman’s cinematography is the only saving grace of this film. He has managed to bring in the feel of horror to perfection. With the low lights and intense fast-moving shots, he grabs your attention. Even though 90 per cent of the film has been shot inside a mansion, there is not a single shot where you feel that it’s not well-lit and you’re not able to understand the story properly. The way he showcased the rural landscape in some of the outdoor shots makes it worth the watch.
Ajay Ghagare’s editing was crisp and he made sure that the story didn’t stretch too long. With just under 2 hours, the story left the necessary impact. Had the story also been equally catchy, the film would have been a blockbuster watch.
Gaurav Chatterji’s background score is another highlight of ‘Gaslight’. The feel that you need for a horror thriller is perfectly brought along. You have the perfect jump scares at every moment whenever need be. Great work!
‘Gaslight’: Can Kids Watch It?
‘Gaslight’ is too predictable, to say the least. Had the performances of the three leads been exceptional then the film would have at least made you want to be interested in what was happening. However, that’s not the case. To add to that, the film started off as a horror film, but there was barely any horror element by the middle of it. At the most, it is mildly thrilling. Just great cinematography and a good background score aren’t enough. Overall, if you’ve nothing better to watch this weekend, then only tread this way. Otherwise, you can simply skip it. I am going with 1.5 stars.