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GASLIGHT has a slow, clichéd narrative but is saved by the performances and the unpredictable climax.


Gaslight Review {2.5/5} & Review Rating

GASLIGHT is the story of a daughter and her missing father. Mishri aka Meesha (Sara Ali Khan) returns to her hometown in Gujarat to meet her father (Shataf Ahmed Figar) after years. Meesha can’t walk and had separated from her father after a tragedy in the palace and also after her father remarried. As soon as Meesha returns, she’s welcomed by her stepmother, Rukmani (Chitrangda Singh). Surprisingly, her father is nowhere to be found. Rukmani and others tell her that he had to urgently head to their factory to pacify the agitated workers on strike. Meesha finds the reason unconvincing. She calls her father but his phone is switched off. Moreover, eerie things happen to her at night that make her believe that her father is dead. While Rukmani rubbishes these claims, Kapil (Vikrant Massey), a faithful servant of the palace, decides to help her. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

Gaslight

Neha Veena Sharma and Pavan Kirpalani’s story is alright but could have been translated into a fine suspense flick. Neha Veena Sharma and Pavan Kirpalani’s screenplay, however, is clichéd and unexciting for most parts. The writers take a lot of time for the build-up. Amit Mehta’s dialogues (additional dialogues by Neha Veena Sharma) are routine.

Pavan Kirpalani’s direction is a mixed bag. He succeeds in making good use of the location and in creating an eerie, mysterious atmosphere. A particular scene, shot in the salt pan, also stands out for its execution. However, despite a runtime of 111 minutes, the film seems too long as it’s quite slow. Some scenes test the patience of the viewers. Moreover, the template of a character seeing something mysterious but failing to prove it to the rest of the characters has been beaten-to-death.

Thankfully, the suspense in the last 15 minutes is shocking and unexpected. The makers also tie all the loose ends at this point and the film ends on a thrilling and justified note. This majorly saves the film.

Gaslight | Official Trailer | Sara Ali Khan | Vikrant Massey | Chitrangda Singh

Another strength of the film are the performances. Sara Ali Khan puts up a sincere act. She doesn’t go overboard and does quite well in the last half an hour. Chitrangda Singh looks graceful and puts up a subtle and effective performance. Vikrant Massey is charming as always and delivers a fine performance. Shataf Ahmed Figar leaves a huge mark in a small role. Rahul Dev (Ashok; cop) is decent. Shishir Sharma (Doctor) is fair. Manjiri Pupala (Psychic) goes a bit overboard but it works for her character. Vinod Kumar Sharma (Padam) is passable.

GASLIGHT is a song-less film. Gaurav Chatterji’s background score, however, is superb and adds to the mystery element. Ragul Herian Dharuman’s cinematography is polished. The palace scenes, especially, are well-shot. Niharika Bhasin’s costumes are appealing yet realistic in the case of Sara Ali Khan and Vikrant Massey, and royal in the case of Chitrangda Singh. Nikhil Kovale’s production design is rich. SVS Studio Pvt Ltd’s VFX is classy. Hiralal Hansu Yadav’s action is a bit gory but overall, it doesn’t make viewers uncomfortable. Chandan Arora’s editing is slow and could have been tighter.

On the whole, GASLIGHT has a slow, clichéd narrative but is saved by the performances and the unpredictable climax. Average fare.

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