Sara Ali Khan in the trailer of ‘Gaslight’
A murder mystery that invests more in the mood than the case, gas light It piques interest with its setting and sharp twist, but ultimately turns out to be a dull whodunit.
Director Pawan Kriplani, who has over the years found his way into the darkest corners of the human mind, once again instills a sense of dread and foreboding. Here he has joined hands with the makers of films like secret And mask To create a brilliant conspiracy based on a superficially judged take on mental health.
director: Pawan Kriplani
mold: Sara Ali Khan, Vikrant Massey, Chitrangada Singh, Akshay Oberoi, Rahul Dev
runtime: 111 minutes
Story: A young woman, played by Sara Ali Khan, returns to her family’s royal estate, only to find that her father is missing.
Misha (Sara Ali Khan) returns to her royal estate after 15 years to find that her father, Ratan Singh Gaekwad, is missing. A series of events make the wheel-chair-bound Misha realize that her stepmother Rukmini (Chitrangada Singh) is hiding the truth and manipulating her into thinking she is mentally unstable with the help of her admirers. Misha’s distant cousin Rana Jai Singh (Akshay Oberoi) and a police officer Ashok Tanwar (Rahul Dev).
As she decides to dig to the root of her fear, Misha finds help in the form of her father’s manager, Kapil (Vikrant Massey), but soon learns that the secret lies in her father’s pet dog Commander’s sniffling or sniffing. There is more than the smell of stepwell. Can keep house
It starts off as a well-crafted thriller but as we scratch our way through the cobwebs, we find it’s the same old Maze about infidelity, greed and betrayal packaged as an ode to George Cukor gas light (1944).
A gloomy background score and a dazzling set and lighting design add up to at least half a dozen scares but the writing fails to deliver substance to the ghost fest. The characters feel hollow and it is hard to believe that no one has seen Misha for the last 15 years. The writers focus on providing some clinical twists every few minutes which start to feel irrelevant as hardly anything rides on them. Discussions on royal privileges and the status of commoners in the royal household rarely gain any traction.
An overly serious treatment of the subject seems unnecessary. A pulpy analogy is that Rana Jai Singh parties at a restaurant called The Silver Spoon. That was all the fun anyone had!
The solemnity of the show can also be felt in the demonstrations. The actors have probably been told that the mystery demands a lack of expression. Sara has a great face, but she lacks flexibility when it comes to expressing some deep feelings. In a role that demands her to be confident and sensitive at the same time, she just strikes a note. Chitrangada Singh might be hiding a hundred secrets behind those talkative eyes but here she hasn’t been challenged enough by the writers. It is left to the talented Vikrant Massey as the manager of the missing king to keep the audience hooked till the big reveal. Akshay Oberoi is suitably evil, but isn’t allowed to flex his muscles and Rahul Dev remains a grateful red herring.
gas light It doesn’t break any new ground but it’s not a bad option if you want to indulge in some level-one mind games.
Gaslight is currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar