You might begin watching the recently released film 'Guilty' while expecting a 'he said she said' narrative. After all, the story is about a college heartthrob getting accused of rape by a not so popular small-town girl. But as the story unfolds, you'll actually find yourself getting indulged in the premise, always wondering who is speaking the truth and who isn't, that's not all though, as the reality checks you receive while watching this film will surely wrench your guts.
The story is set during the time where the wave of #metoo movement took over India. That's when Tanu Kumar, a scholarship student in St. Martin's College, Delhi from the city of Dhanbad comes forward with a rape allegation on Vijay Pratap Singh, most commonly known by VJ. The film also features the perspective of the lawyers who've been sent to tackle the case. Two different timelines featuring incidents from a year ago and current incidents arise, which help the plot progress smoothly.
The film has been produced by Karan Johar led 'Dharmatic Productions'. The college environment portrayed in this web film is completely different from the ones we are used to seeing on the silver screens, with everything pure, coated in glitter and glamour. Students swear and vaunt their hardcore tattoos unapologetically with free-flowing drugs being the cherry on top. It gets the realism right.
The film features all the things which are needed to be addressed in this 21st century like privilege, power dynamics, rape, slut-shaming and consent. You might think you have it all figured out, but the film offers one plot twist after the other, only making your mind go deeper and deeper into the finding out the truth.
We won't give out what happens all the way into the film as it is definitely a must-watch and unquestionably what the country needs to get the conversation started about the hush-hush, heavily patriarchal and stereotyped issues.
In terms of acting, the star cast mostly nails their performances. It was refreshing to see Kiara Advani have a Virgina Wolf-loving, free-spirited, gothic vibe in the film, Bollywood still doesn't like portraying their women in such avatars. She played the role of Nanki, the girlfriend of the accused rapist. You'll also get to see a lot of new faces in the film like Akansha Ranjan Kapoor who played 'Tanu' the rape survivor, she was exceptional with her portrayal of someone who doesn't fit in with the elites. Gurfateh Singh Pirzada as VJ did justice to his role as a rowdy, over-privileged heartthrob. Taher Shabbir as Danish Ali Baig is someone set out to crack the case. The unbiased depiction of his character is pleasant to look at.
Another interesting thing about the film is the project is mostly female-driven with Ruchi Narain as the Director, Atika Chouhan, Kanika Dhillon as Writers and Aneesha Baig as the producer. Kudos to Karan Johar for this bold initiative!