Gaslight is a confined horror-murder mystery that seems promising at first but loses its enigma in the second half

Raj Naik
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Gaslight is a confined horror-murder mystery that seems promising at first but loses its enigma in the second half

Directed by Pawan Kripalani, Disney+ Hotstar's original Gaslight has too many curves to count.

One of the most thrilling aspects of watching a movie for the first time is when it manages to keep you guessing. In a world where horror and murder mystery are two distinct genres, when made well, some films bring a good blend of these two genres under one roof. Because when it comes to their nature, these genres fit really well together. Today, these genre shifting films make you wet your pants in the start and end with you contemplating your life choices. And movies like Gaslight are proof that horror movies have more to offer than just the scare factor.

Gaslight opens with a stunning underwater view of a dead body in a sinking car and soft music that sets the mood for an eerie roller coaster journey. Meesha (Sara Ali Khan), who spent her entire childhood and half of her adult life in Mumbai, goes back home to her family's royal palace to meet her dad who was. the reason behind her going home but discovers that he has just left town. As she enters the palace, her stepmother Rukmani, played by Chitrangada Singh, greets her in a rather malignant way. We learn a little bit about Meesha through the in and out flashback scenes from her time with her father, as well as how gloomy her childhood was and the reasons she voluntarily decided to move to Mumbai.

Also Read: Gulmohar on Hotstar is the Indian version of This Is Us that we didn’t even realise we needed!

As soon as she reaches there, the first night itself she encounters a man who seemed like her dad. She follows him in a hallway and sees a glimpse of her father. Everyone thinks it's a creature of her imagination so they don't pay any heed. This is where Kapil (Vikrant Massey) comes into the picture. Kapil is Meesha's dad’s assistant who once broke into the palace to steal. As the story goes forward, Meesha is seen breaking down multiple times and questioning if she really should have come to her hometown. She can't figure out if her dad is missing or dead. Is Rukmani behind all of this? The twist that comes in the second half is one of the 10 times where you’ll say “I can’t believe my eyes!” 

The whole point of making horror movies is to get you scared and Pavan Kirpalani made sure we felt that. The movie will keep you on the edge of your seat and like other genre shift films, it also confuses you till you are looking for answers that aren’t even planted in the plot. Gaslight is well structured story wise which gets slow for a while after the second half but catches its pace once the genre shifts. But by adding too many twists and turns towards the end, it loses its enigma. The colour palette used in this one is shades of cobalt blue which works so well for a movie that's not calm at all. 

There’s no typical Bollywood music per se in the movie but the transition of background music is seen when the movie becomes a murder mystery. The intense terrifying music slowly but aesthetically turns suspenseful and climactic. Performance wise, for the first 20 minutes I couldn't see any expression on Sara Ali Khan’s face but after that, her performance was worth watching. On the other hand, Chitrangada’s portrayal of an evil stepmother is just a cookie on a hot cappuccino. The evident bougie-ness and A+ fashion sense added so much to her character. Watching Vikrant Massey doing a completely different genre was commendable. 


Overall, Gaslight is a light watch and the genre shift in this movie had a rather smooth transition. Being a Dark Coper myself, I don’t usually get scared in horror movies, in fact, I find it funny. Gaslight made me a feel a little scared but some scenes definitely felt debatable. But what stayed with me throughout were goosebumps.

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Horror Sara Ali Khan review murder mystery Vikrant Massey Murder Disney+ Hotstar Pavan Kirpalani Chitrangada Singh genre shift psychological