“Preeti has turned into Kabir Singh” comments one user on YouTube, after watching the Kiara Advani starrer, Guilty. The story is your typical What Really Happened That Night/Whodunit/Everything Is Not What It Seems.
I must be honest with you. I’ve never seen an Indian movie explore university rape at such a complex level, with a woman dealing with her boyfriend being an alleged rapist. She even tells the victim “you raped him, slut”. Hats off to director Narain not shying away from exposing crude victim blaming.
But while Guilty is relevant, it still lacks a certain something. I give it 2.5/5—for effort, script and thought—but why it failed was three, very simple, reasons.
Bad acting, yaar
While the storyline seems urgent and relevant, the dialogue delivery and expressions of the actors felt slightly…awkward? An idea this gripping needs—nay, deserves—fab actors who make it believable. Besides Kiara Advani, none of the other actors were good, or believable. Their accents were off and they seemed like caricatures of themselves—not real people with real backgrounds.
Just another Pretty Little Liars
The trope is quite overdone. Their lives are perfect until that *one night* when it all changes. PLL is the perfect example of har chamakne waali cheez sona nahi hoti. It had all the drama, scandals, murderous trails and stalking—for nothing. There was nothing beneath the surface. Audiences can see through that, you know. Same with Guilty. Some parts felt like it was trying too hard, like some fights and squabbles weren’t necessary, but just there for the sake of drama.
Lacking an Honest Critique of the Class System
Honestly, five Marx to Guilty for trying to explore this (hehe). That’s what the movie was trying to do, right? Comment on the privileged “upper-class, English medium” elite of Delhi who take advantage of all they have? Explore how money can play into power politics of sex? Well, I didn’t really believe it. I didn’t believe Akshara Ranjan Kapoor’s character was not part of the “English medium” gang. I didn’t believe that the rich were more than just snooty rockstars. It all felt far too superficial, as though the writers didn’t want to take the painstaking efforts of really delving deeply into complex issues. I don’t want a digestible visual of class divide that beautifies everyone—I want to watch the honest disparity of wealth at a collegiate level. So, Karan, we expected more from you this time.
Guilty released on Netflix on March 6
If you like what you see, slide into our DMs on https://www.instagram.com/mirchiplay/ 😉