MOVIE REVIEW: Social media peril for the ‘Guilty’

By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 19 March 2020: Watching Karan Johar’s ‘Guilty’ is a peep into the male psyche where a woman is not taken seriously. Even if she says “I have been raped”. She is doubted and advised to keep mum by family and friends. This is the genesis of ‘Guilty’ laced with the flair of the social media age.

Yes, it’s India and Delhi University (DU)’s St. Martin’s College (shot in St. Stephen’s College) where a popular DJ (VJ) allegedly rapes a girl (Tanu) in the presence of friends and his own girlfriend (Nanki). Tanu tweets about it. VJ is a politician’s son and attempts to stop Tanu from filing an FIR amidst all sorts of talk about her character.

Danish who is probing the case for a law firm wins a defamation case against Tanu’s family as the talk of ‘Me too’ reverberates the university. The rest of the movie traces the rather sketchy but concerted moves by Tanu to pin down VJ to face the law. The end is longish with the director falling into the trap of Bollywood style lecturing. Still, the movie (about two hours) gives the message of hope.

‘Guilty’ which is streaming on Netflix, has all the ingredients of an intense social drama with ‘stuff’ (explicit language, intimate scenes, social reality, boozing…) which the Indian censors disdain in movies released in cinema halls. I am sure this movie would have got ‘A’ with many cuts from the Indian censors.

This movie must be watched for the content. In ‘sanskari’ culture girls are supposed to remain silent in such situations. It is this that ‘Guilty’ confronts. And, social media can be a trigger to take the post ‘Me Too’ ahead.

Director Ruchi Narain makes the unsettling movie watchable making Kaira Advani (Nanki) give a good performance. Akansha Ranjan Kapoor (Tanu), Gurfateh Singh Pirzada ,Taher Shabbir, Dalip Tahil, Kunal Vijaykar, and Manu Rishi perform well.

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