Movie Review: “Guilty’ Will Make You Question Patriarchy, Privilege and Consent

Consent has become quite a popular term in the post #MeToo era and Guilty, starring Kiara Advani, reminds us that men of privilege do not think twice before violating women. Furthermore, the film also throws ample light on the fact that a large number of rape cases still go unnoticed. Guilty, directed by Ruchi Narain, throws light on a set of burning questions that are often swept under the carpet.

An Overview: 

 Less than a minute into the film, we see a college-goer being questioned ( grilled, in some ways) by the cops. The members of a college rock band are questioned after VJ, the band’s lead vocalist, and the son of a powerful businessman, is accused of raping one of his batchmates. All hell breaks loose when Tanu, the victim, posts a tweet targeting VJ. In no time, we see VJ being targeted by various sections of the society, but there comes a point when everybody, even those investigating the case, begins questioning the victim’s claims. 

Storyline:

Quite frankly, the storyline is watertight and doesn’t give you much time to think. It took less than 10 minutes for the makers to establish all of the characters. The best part about the story is: it goes about its business without beating around the bush. A large chunk of the film is narrated from Nanaki’s (Kiara Advani) perspective.

 There are sequences that make you uncomfortable. For instance: one of the students being questioned tells the cops that the victim is nothing more than a f*ck girl. Furthermore, the viewers are also made aware of the fact that Rani, the victim, had ” trouble written all over her”.

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The Film does raise some Important Questions:

Right from frame one, the film succeeds in maintaining a ‘stern’ look and feel. Well, that’s because the director wants the viewers to know that sexual harassment is a serious offence. 

  • Why is a girl called a sl*t if all she wants is attention?
  • Why are rape cases politicized?

Despite a few minor flaws, guilty has its heart in the right place. The narrative of the film keeps swinging to and fro, much like a pendulum. The first half of the film showcases Tanu as the ‘helpless victim’ who has been raped by a rich and spoilt brat. But victim-blaming shows its ugly head and everybody puts Tanu in the line of fire. 

Performances:

Kiara Advani is the star of the show and looks unbearably hot in her ‘punk’ look. She plays the heartbroken lyricist and does so with ease. Also, she comes across as a ‘coconut personality’ and it won’t take long for the viewers to realize that this punk babe has demons running wild inside of her. (Does that remind you of Alan Walker?).

Gurfateh, who plays VJ, the spoilt brat, does everything you could have asked of him. There is that carefree (rather nonchalant) look in his eyes that screams aloud at times. Also, right from frame one, you get a feeling that this guy will get away with the crime unscathed. 

Taher Shabbir enters the scene right from frame one as he begins interrogating VJ’s friends. He doesn’t speak much and goes about his business with the utmost sincerity. Unfortunately, he comes across as a stone-faced investigator who has little or no room for emotions. In short, our investigator required a few punchy dialogues to make his presence felt.

Next on the list is Akansha Kapoor, who plays Tanu Kumar, a girl from Dhanbad, one of the country’s mining powerhouses. She is shown as a headstrong woman and doesn’t shy away from voicing her opinion. Despite being raped, she chooses not to hang her head in shame (which comes across as a big positive). Akansha shines right from the start despite having a limited screen presence. 

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Here’s the biggest problem ailing this film: despite playing the victim, Akansha hasn’t been given enough screen time as most of the film is narrated from Nanaki’s perspective. 

Direction:

Ruchi Narain does a fairly decent job behind the camera by handling rape, an immensely sensitive subject matter with a great deal of sincerity and maturity. A 2-hour-long runtime does test your patience (at times), but the film deserves a watch for the powerful message it has in store for its viewers. 

‘Guilty’, despite a few minor flaws, ends up holding the viewer’s attention. Watch it for the message it has in store.

A leisurely stroll down memory lane

The latest list of top-ranked colleges in India is out. The Ministry of Human Resource and Development (HRD) has unveiled the 4th edition of the NIRF rankings. As far as the colleges are concerned, the Miranda House (University of Delhi) )has occupied the top spot for the third time in a row. The Hindu College, one of the University of Delhi’s finest colleges, has jumped two places to occupy the second spot.

Now come the universities. The Indian Institute of Science Bengaluru has been rated as the best university. The 2nd spot has been occupied by the Jawahar Lal University (Delhi). Continue reading “A leisurely stroll down memory lane”

There’s No Harm in being an introvert…

Being an introvert can be quite tempting. The best part about being an introvert is that you end up getting a lot of time to think about yourself. You can organise your stuff, read books, do something creative, etc., etc. The possibilities are endless. Also, being an introvert helps you keep your mind channelized by getting rid of countless cluttered thoughts and opinions. To be honest, channelizing the mind becomes quite a daunting task if you have 10 people chatting around you simultaneously.

But, being an introvert isn’t all that easy. It is fairly easy to be misinterpreted by people while you speak, but silence, at times, can also be misinterpreted. Some might think you are egoistic while others might think you are shy and do not like socializing and getting along with people.

This is a problem I faced during the days of graduation. I have been an introvert for the most part of my life, I must confess. I did not choose to be an introvert just because I am shy, but also because I am a person who won’t speak if there’s nothing worth speaking and/or sharing.

Back in 2013, when I was a 19-year-old chap pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, life used to be quite uncomplicated. College days were no less than a honeymoon.  Neither were there any deadlines and nor did I have anybody breathing down my neck, waiting for me to complete a bunch of godforsaken assignments. Back then, the skies were clear and thunderstorms were nowhere to be seen.

The reason I feel my life was sorted back then is that I was an introvert and not a people’s pleaser. I used to spend a lot of time watching films and reading books instead of going to cultural festivals and get-togethers.

On the academic front, I was quite an annoying student. I used to ask a lot of questions. I didn’t have many friends and my interactions with the opposite gender had been disastrous. While others were busy smoking weed and cigarettes, I used to attend all classes and complete all the tasks allotted to me within the pre-defined timeframes.

Not much of it changed after I completed my higher secondary. My powers of introversion continued to serve me well. I could hardly get along with anybody. Some of you might find it hard to believe, but for me, striking up a conversation with anybody ( even a friend) happens to be quite a tedious task. Out of shyness, I used to give college fests and get-togethers a skip. I didn’t even attend the convocation ceremony.

I was seen as a cold-hearted, awkward, and shy individual. As a student, people used to find me sitting on the first bench. While others used to gossip, I used to be busy copying notes and completing assignments.

Moving on, as far as popularity is concerned, I must admit I was quite popular throughout the college. Ah, not because I was the most handsome guy one could ever get to see, but because I used to help countless ‘poor souls’ during assignment submission. I remember a day when as many as 14 blog posts were churned out by me within 6 hours for a godforsaken blogging assignment. Those 14 blog posts dealt with 14 different social issues and were written for 14 different people. Such was the efficiency and speed with which I used work back then.

When I started working for one of the financial dailies in Noida as an intern, the introvert in me grew stronger. I could hardly strike a conversation with any of my colleagues. 90% of my time at work was spent editing and uploading news stories on the company’s website, while the rest of it was spent writing random blog posts. Gone are the days when life used to be a cakewalk

The reason I feel there’s no harm in being an introvert is: You aren’t bothering anybody with your silence. As an individual, all of us have the right to choose when to speak, how much to speak, and with whom to speak. Also, not speaking frequently and being misunderstood is much better than speaking frequently and getting into an unnecessary argument.

A point that needs to be taken care of here is that being an introvert does not mean that you should refrain from talking to people. Getting along with people and close friends is something that helps all of us rejuvenate ourselves after a long and busy day at work. As far as I am concerned, being an introvert was more of a personal choice for me. It has helped me stay organised while keeping the clutter at bay.

Four Short Films Made by Students Which Deal With Social Issues…

That films are an integral part of our life is no hyperbole. Cinema, because of its wider reach and accessibility, is no less than a mirror which helps us reflect on a host of issues that the society comes across.

The likes of social media platforms such as YouTube have allowed amateur filmmakers and students to come forward and voice their concerns regarding anything and everything under the sun.  From blood donation to physical disability to the ever-growing problem of child abuse, countless videos are being churned out by students in with an intent to mobilise public opinion and bring about a desirable change.

Continue reading “Four Short Films Made by Students Which Deal With Social Issues…”