Verdict: A film that answers a lot of questions while raising a lot more.
Available on Netflix.
The #MeToo movement sparked off a conversation about how the system at that time failed the victims of sexual assaults. We also saw a lot of movies like Section 375 and Bombshell that brought these issues to the limelight. Guilty by Dharmatic productions manages to showcase all these problems in a single two-hour film. At a time, where we still haven’t managed to make significant changes in the light of #MeToo movement, movies like Guilty must show where the system is still failing the victims. From blaming the victims to make victims feel that they have to provide all the proof, there is a long way to go and this movie is a crucial step to spark the conversation.
What’s Guilty About:
At St. Martin’s, a prestigious college in Delhi University where it’s all about merit, there is a band named Doobydoo where Nanki Dutta (Kiara Advani) is the songwriter and her boyfriend VJ (Gurfateh Pirzada) along with his friends perform those songs. VJ is the college heartthrob, and many women wish to be in Nanki’s place. One of them Tanu Kumar (Akansha Ranjan Kapoor), who is from Dhanbad. On 14th February 2017, many see Tanu flirting with VJ, and a year later she tweets that he had raped her. VJ who comes from an affluent family is ready with his team of lawyers to file a defamation case. At the helm of these proceedings is Danish Ali Baig (Taher Shabbir) who interviews everyone to understand what happened that night.
In the absence of proof, most of these cases are a series of He said She said procedurals. The story by Kanika Dhillon and Atika Chohan showcases that wonderfully by staging the interviews and giving us an account of what happened leading to the event. Like in the movie Pink, the actual event is not shown until the end, which has the desired impact. Here the audience is allowed to assess the situation based on the information provided and come to their judgement.
We see Kiara Advani in a new role, and no, we are not talking about her fantastic new hairstyle. She plays a character who is called fragile for unknown reasons. A person who drowns herself in the words of writers like Kafka while writing songs which have hidden depths. It is wonderful to see her in a role like this, and we cannot wait for more.
The story covers so many aspects of what happens when someone speaks up. There are talks of settling the case with the victim, blaming the victim based on their history. Also, to go ahead and prove that the victim is doing this for publicity. The story deals with all of these and answers a lot of questions for us.
What Could’ve Been Better:
While the movie leaves you asking the right questions, it would have been more impactful if the storytelling could be a little tighter. The ending felt a little abrupt, and we would have loved to see the consequences of what happened in the third act.
Why You Should Watch:
Guilty is an essential movie that reignites the conversation regarding the #MeToo movement. It has become more critical than ever to hear both sides and not put the weight of evidence on the victim. It touches topics like the impact of social media positively and negatively. There haven’t been enough movies that address the questions as this one does. If you want something to do this weekend, this movie should be top on your list.