Gaslight

Sep 20, 2020

Gaslighting is defined as a form of psychological manipulation in which a person is made to question their sanity and it usually follows a pattern of intense positive reinforcement followed by episodes of withdrawal… I think that summarizes the experience of watching this.

Gaslight is a film about a young man, Femi (Uzor Arukwe), whose parents refuse for him to marry the woman he actually loves, Lamide (Bimbo Ademoye). They arrange for him to enter a mutually beneficial marriage to the daughter, Wami (Ebenezer Eno) of their equally prestigious friend. Three years into the marriage, Femi and Lamide find themselves in the same space again and… well we all know how this one goes.

Granted, the introduction of this review might have been a bit too severe. I draw the comparison though because the introduction of this film promises so much more than the film is able to finally deliver. From a cast including heavy weights like Arukwe, Titiloye, Ademoye and Eno, to the production quality of the film, you start off with very high expectations. Those expectations aren’t completely dashed (this is not “The CEO and I“); however, by the end, the film ends up being just like every other film but with slightly better production quality and way more impressive performers.

In the film, when Femi and Wami re-enter the scene three years later you really have a lot of hope for these characters. They are adorable newlyweds and are easy to root for. So when Femi meets Lami again you find yourself screaming at the screen hoping that he stops before it’s too late. For instance, when they meet, you find yourself shouting at Femi “YOU ARE MARRIED”. He says to her that they need to catch up. BUT YOU ARE MARRIED. They plan to meet up again so she can buy shirts. SHIRTS KWA? SHEY YOU KNOW YOU ARE MARRIED. When she picks up the shirts he is asking her jamb questions about her mood. OH BOY, NEED I MENTION THAT YOU ARE MARRIED?. Then he offers to do the proposal for her…. UNCLE, HOW MANY TIMES SHALL I TELL YOU THAT YOU ARE IN A BLOODY CIVIL UNION! But despite the numerous warnings, things still go the way you’d expect… but not entirely so.

The performances and the direction of these actors is probably the best part here. Ebenezer Eno stole my heart in this film especially in the scene where she discovers the truth. Her heart break was palpable, tangible and gut wrenching. Uzor Arukwe as our lover boy is forever easy to love. He is seamless in front of the camera. And Bimbo Ademoye might actually pull an Olivia Pope on you and cause you to start rooting for ‘the other woman’.

All in all, Gaslight is a cute watch. It starts off very exciting but it soon dissipates from a potential status as cream of the crop to cannon fodder. There’s a lot of scenes that are unnecessarily long and even the relatively unforeseen ending couldn’t quite save it.

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