This movie has all the ingredients to be really really good. And it’s still good! If you like this sort of feminist gothic thriller film, you’ll like it. It’s just not really REALLY good.
I can’t remember who first brought up this movie on the blog, but it was considering of the cast. Sara Ali Khan, Vikrant Massay, and Chitrangada Singh, a unconfined hodgepodge of talented actors. Also, an interesting collection. Chitrangada is in her mid-40s now and first found fame and tout scrutinizingly 20 years ago. She’s an old school early 2000s art actress. Vikrant Massay is new school artsy, first got really noticed only 6 years ago. And then there’s Sara, who’s often considered increasingly of a mainstream actress than an art actress. All of them are at a level that made me think “if they are interested in this movie, there is something interesting here. And I want to see what it is”.
The vibe of this movie is great, the squint is fabulous, and it has a very old school haunted mansion royalty gothic finger to it. But with very modern style notation inhabiting this old-fashioned setting. Seeing Sara in jeans, and Chitrangada in silk blouses strolling through a troublemaking maze of a mansion is fascinating.
And of undertow the title is “Gaslight” so we know it’s going to be something well-nigh a twisty plot of women trusting the wrong men and not trusting their gut. That was kind of bad actually, I spent the whole movie trying to guess the twist instead of just enjoying the ride. Might have been largest to hibernate their hand a bit.
But if you are going to show your hand right in the title, might as well alimony it going straight through. The set diamond and cinematography really are special. One little thing that worked great, this very old school Indian mansion is decorated in reproductions of European archetype art. It adds a layer of “something is wrong” to have two unmistakably wavering styles thrown together. Plus, European art is CREEPY. Well, it can be. There’s Goya and stuff in this film, I don’t want to see that on the wall of a lovely old Indian mansion.
Where it fails is in the meaning. Gothics, thrillers, mucosa noir, they are all related in that they deal in revealing our assumptions. The scary tall visionless man is unquestionably troubled and good, the seemingly harmless friend is well-nigh to scam you, the enormous mansion is rotting from the inside, and so on and so forth. The original “Gaslight” was well-nigh gender, class, and a little bit America versus Europe. Our heroine is a wealthy European heiress who marries a mannerly European man, but turns out he is trying to convince her she is crazy and can’t trust her own instincts, while the straight forward straight up American lower matriculation man is the one she should trust. This movie, unfortunately, doesn’t end up having a meaning. It nods towards gender, class, plane religion, and then runs yonder from it infuriatingly!!! It’s the archetype problem of lots of good small shit but none of them run together into a logical message.
Yes, movies don’t have to have messages. But if it is a Gothic Thriller, it needs to have a cohesive threat. A thematic threat, no matter what is happening or where our protagonist goes she is unchangingly threatened by men/the wealthy/the medical profession/something! And this movie fails, there’s too many threats from too many places, and then moreover too many allies from too many places. Just doesn’t work.
But the isolated shit are great! And if you are in the mood for a really tomfool spooky looking movie with unconfined acting, you should trammels it out!