Gaslight, more gas less light

Slowburn is not the chosen mood. It is more like slow-burn-out

Gaslight, more gas less light

Subhash K Jha


Rating: * ½

Gaslight desperately needs a torchlight.  A majority of the sequences are shot at night, as most films in the horror-thriller genre are wont to. The night scenes are shot in such poor light that most of them had me guessing about the goings-on. Did I miss something? I guess I will never  know.

Gaslight is an unintended comedy. It attempts to scare you by cruising along with the wheelchair-bound listless heroine Meesha whom everyone calls “Rajamumariji”(probably in the hope of a mention in the will) in the (ill-lit) haveli where she returns after a long hiatus to find her dear daddy missing.

Stepmom Rukmani (Chitrangda Singh, completely ineffective) , is an obvious suspect.  But the director Pavan Kirpalani takes his own sweet time to unravel the mystery…or shall we say, the miss-story.

Slowburn is not the chosen mood. It is more like slow-burn-out. The film’s amateurish storytelling with the big bang climax visible to us from miles away, is tortuous in mood and taxing in its lethargic storytelling.

The acting which covers a wide spectrum from bored (Sara Ali Khan, Chitrangda) to overzealous (Akshay Oberoi as a spoilt over-privileged brat, and a blind fortune teller played by Manjiri Pupula who gives hamming an all-new dimension and definition). Only Vikrant Massey, by now a master at making his place in Shero films, can be seen making some effort to make sense of his role as a faithful servant in a palace filled with inane intrigue, and more darkly-lit corridors than medieval dungeons.

Unlike other poor horror thrillers in recent times, Gaslight doesn’t have a single jumpscare moment. This brings me to the other question that scares me far beyond anything in the film. And the question goes to whoever sanctioned this film on behalf of Disney+hotstar: what did you see in this one?

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