Revisão Gaslit: Uma crítica abrasadora da corrupção política americana
In 2022, the reasons for making a show about the Watergate scandal seem too obvious to bother writing down. But Gaslit, the new Starz drama about the scandal, isn’t just a show about political corruption or a satire about the buffoonery of arrogant government officials. More than anything else, Gaslit is about the dangers of idolatry. It’s a show that charts the downfall of Richard Nixon’s presidency but rarely shows the man himself because it’s too busy investigating the motivations of the men (and women) who were willing to commit treason for him.
- The year of the rat
- Prisoners of power
- One man’s will
That becomes clear in Gaslit ’s opening scene, which shows fanatical Nixon supporter G. Gordon Liddy (Shea Whigham) holding his hand over a candle’s flame while speaking directly to the camera about the importance of a person’s will. “True immortality rests in a pure and mighty will… That is what it means to be Nixon,” Liddy says, right before unceremoniously putting out the flame with his open palm. It is an intense and outrageous opening moment, but just a taste of the kind of unwavering reverence with which many of Gaslit ’s characters treat Nixon.
The year of the rat
Of course, not everyone in Gaslit is blinded by their loyalty to America’s 37th president. Standing in stark opposition to Liddy and Nixon’s other followers is Martha Mitchell (Julia Roberts), the wife of U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell (Sean Penn). When the series begins, Martha’s love of the spotlight and penchant for openly speaking her mind has already made her a minor American celebrity. She’s more loyal to herself and her family than she is to the president, which makes her knowledge of the Watergate break-in more valuable than she could possibly imagine.
Before long, Martha finds herself with the power to help bring down the world’s most powerful politician. O único problema? Her husband just so happens to be one of the president’s most devoted followers. As a result, much of the drama in Gaslit stems from Martha and John’s toxic relationship, one that ricochets between loving and sexual to abusive and demeaning repeatedly throughout the series.
As Martha, Roberts is a grinning open wound — a performer whose vanity and pride are systematically stripped away by her husband’s abusive tactics. Martha’s public persona is a caricature of sass and independence, but Roberts and the show’s creative team always find ways to ground Martha’s confidence in insecurity and tragedy. Opposite her, Penn is fittingly sleazy — if a little underused — as John Mitchell, a political scumbag of the highest order who is brought to life in the show via several layers of impressive prosthetic makeup.
Prisoners of power
If Martha and John are on the downslope of a once-great marriage when Gaslit begins, then John Dean (Dan Stevens) and Maureen “Mo” Kane (Betty Gilpin) are, as Martha sadly observes in the show's premiere, at “the beginning de alguma coisa." John’s a member of Nixon’s White House counsel and Mo’s a stewardess. They meet each other through a dating service and quickly find themselves attracted to each other despite holding opposing political views. Over the course of the series, their relationship is, much like Martha and John’s, tested in various trying ways by the failed Watergate break-in and subsequent scandal.
For his part, Stevens plays John as a pitiful and weak but kind man. His intense desire to be accepted into Nixon’s inner circle drives him to make many horrendous decisions, all of which threaten to drive him apart from Gilpin’s Mo. In recent years, both Gilpin and Stevens have emerged as two of the most skilled and versatile performers working in Hollywood today, and their performances in Gaslit only further prove how talented and magnetic they both can be. Their chemistry together helps make up for the unevenness of how John and Mo’s relationship is developed in Gaslit, which sometimes struggles in its early episodes to balance all of its various perspectives and subplots.
However, no one makes quite the impression that Shea Whigham does as Liddy, the Hitler-obsessed military veteran who takes it upon himself to spearhead Nixon’s espionage mission. As Liddy, Whigham keeps his blinking to a minimum, back impeccably straight, and voice almost always at an even, low growl — except in the moments when Liddy decides to throw one of his many childlike tantrums. The performance constantly rides the line between hilarious and terrifying — evoking the same feelings that a fanatic like Liddy warrants.
One man’s will
Está na descrição de Liddy que gaslit está mais cheia e afiada. A série, que foi criada pela Robbie Pickering e dirigida em sua totalidade por Matt Ross _ (Capitão_ Fantastic), ocasionalmente tenta ampliar seu escopo e pintar um retrato abrangente da sociedade americana da década de 1970, mas é apenas intermitentemente bem sucedido em fazer isso. Em vez disso, gaslit funciona melhor quando mantém seu foco em seus personagens e os usa para tornar seus temas claros.
Isso é especialmente verdade em dois momentos memoráveis. O primeiro chega perto do final de um episódio inicial e vê Stevens 'John Dean Pague uma visita não anunciada para a casa de L. Patrick Gray (John Caroll Lynch) para pedir ao diretor da ACTIN FBI para queimar uma caixa de documentos do governo secreto. Em vez de expressar preocupação com o crime, ele está sendo convidado a se comprometer, o primeiro instinto de Gray é perguntar: "É Dick Mad comigo?"
Em um episódio posterior, John Mitchell de Penn é mostrado sentado no chão do seu quarto, bêbado e sozinho, assistindo em silêncio um dos discursos da Nixon na TV. Quando o Presidente terminar de falar, John começa a bater palmas, mostrando seu apoio para um homem que não poderia se importar menos com ele. Como tantas das decisões tomadas em gaslit, é uma demonstração de devoção que nasce de uma ilusão perigosa, que prioriza poder e posição sobre a moralidade.
Gaslit premieres domingo, 24 de abril em Starz.