Gaslight is a drama about the lives of three couples in interweaving stories of control, domestic abuse, and violence. The film highlights different types of abuse including physical, mental, and verbal. We follow Nick and Jess as their relationship slowly deteriorates because of Nick’s drinking habits. Jess tries to work on the relationship and stays with Nick hoping that things will improve, however Nick doesn’t recognise his gaslighting behaviour driving Jess to believe that she is going crazy. The relationship intensifies as it goes from verbal abuse with signs of physical abuse on the horizon.
Deciding to seek advice Jess turns to Nick’s mother Liz who is living with her own dark secret. Liz’s husband, Nick’s father, Michael is physically abusing her. This is where we see the long term affects of abuse and how it can continue through generations. Liz, having lived with the effects of abuse for many years is too frightened to stand up to her husband but keeps a record of her abuse to show the police. When Liz goes to the police station with pictures detailing the abuse she speaks to a police officer, Martin, who tries to convince her that she should get a restraining order. This is when the story takes a new turn and we follow the life of Martin, as he too is a victim of psychological abuse.
This reminds us that while we perceive it’s mostly women are victims, men are also targets of domestic abuse. We watch as Martin’s girlfriend, Sam, twists and manipulates Martin making him feel like he is the bad guy when in fact he has every right to be suspicious of her strange gaslighting behaviour. While Martin gets drawn into his own problems at home he starts slipping at work leading to devastating consequences for Liz.
Directed by Mhairi Calvey (UK)