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Gaslight explained: Find out all about the origins of the name of Sara Ali Khan’s film

What is gaslighting? What does it mean to gaslight someone? Find out all about the word gaslighting as the Disney+ Hotstar film gears up for release 

Gaslight explained: Find out all about the origins of the name of Sara Ali Khan’s film
Chitrangada Singh, Sara Ali Khan, and Vikrant Massey in a poster of Gaslight
  • Team OTTplay

Last Updated: 01.23 PM, Mar 29, 2023

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There is a lot of curiosity surrounding Sara Ali Khan’s next film, the thriller Gaslight. The upcoming psychological thriller that also stars Vikrant Massey and Chitrangda Singh is about a young woman who knows that something terrible has happened to her father, but is constantly convinced by those around her that nothing has happened. 

Gaslighting is a term that has been doing the rounds for a few years now, and with an increased focus on psychological health, the term has been floating around more often of late. It is little wonder then that Bollywood has picked it up and made it the title of a film.

As the film gears up for its OTT release this weekend, here’s all you need to know about the word gaslighting and why you need to know it…

What does "gaslighting" mean?
Gaslighting is manipulating someone using psychological methods that make them question their own sanity. Simply put, it is when someone tries to make a person question their reality. It is important to note that gaslighting is not a one-off occurrence but something that typically happens over a long period of time.

Where did the word originate?
Gas Light is the title of a 1938 British stage play that was made into a psychological thriller film in 1944, titled Gaslight. It starred Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, Joseph Cotten, and Angela Lansbury.


Set among London's elite during the Victorian era, the play/film is about a seemingly genteel man, named Gregory, who lies and manipulates his wife, a heiress named Paula, thereby making her feel that she is mentally unwell. He does this so that he can steal from her.

Paula begins to doubt her sanity after Gregory keeps telling her that she’s becoming forgetful and acting strange. He confines her to the house, telling everyone that she is unwell. Paula hears knocking on the walls of her house and sees the gas lights getting dim, but when she tells Gregory this, he tells her that she’s imagining things.

This is where the title of the film, Gaslight, came from.

Even though the film is from the 1940s, the term gaslighting did not gain popularity until the mid-2010s. 

Have you heard of ambient gaslighting?
Ambient gaslighting — a fairly new term — is a subtle form of gaslighting, so much so that it may not be identified as gaslighting. It means mistreating or disrespecting someone in small doses and may look like the person is being passively aggressive. Some examples of this are employees being afraid to speak up to their boss or misleading advertising.

What is the Sara Ali Khan film all about?
Gaslight is an upcoming psychological thriller that is about Misha (played by Sara), who returns to her royal family estate after 15 years to visit her estranged father, only to find him missing.

In the film, Sara's character realises that something terrible has happened to her father, but she is unable to convince anyone else of the same. All the residents of the estate, including her stepmother Rukmini (played by Chitrangda Singh), insist that everything is fine and that nothing has changed. 

Where and when can you watch it?
Gaslight will have a direct-to-OTT release. It will be released on Disney+ Hotstar on March 31.

Directed by Pavan Kirpalani, Gaslight is produced by Ramesh Taurani and Akshai Puri and stars Sara Ali Khan, Vikrant Massey, Chitrangada Singh, Akshay Oberoi, and Rahul Dev.