New Netflix film Guilty makes a huge statement with its ending, so let’s get it explained as more continue to digest its message.
Movies can serve to do far more than just entertain…
Sure, many flock to films to find enjoyment, but if we really sit back and think about it, there is so much that cinema has helped teach us.
Often, films can address weighty subject matter that we already understand, but sometimes it’s so important to reinforce a shared morality through our creative output, helping to cement the ideals which make us empathetic and, ultimately, human. If it fulfils this duty while still being entertaining, then you truly have something.
Netflix has knocked it out of the park with their cinematic output this year, offering the dizzying thrills of the Safdie brothers’ Uncut Gems to the recent action vehicle Spenser Confidential. However, the film making waves and generating discussion at the moment is Ruchi Narain’s Guilty, which tells the story of Nanki (played by Kiara Advani), who becomes locked in heartbreaking drama when her boyfriend VJ is accused of rape by fellow student Tanu.
We accompany Nanki as she searches for the truth, arriving at a conclusion worthy of attention.
Through much of the film, we are dealing with themes of bravery, doubt, acceptance and sexual assault, but it’s important that the ending ensures such topics are taken very seriously.
On stage in the final moments, KP admits to being a witness and the revealed antagonist is forced to accept the shame of all of his peers, exiting the stage and battling against a sea of shamers.
We then hear from Nanki, who finally opens up: ” I kept quiet, just because I wanted a normal life like anybody else… but it doesn’t leave me even for a second. It’s always right there, no matter how hard I try. It’s always right there. Maybe because… because I kept it a secret… our secret, and it kills me inside… I am ready to speak up now, but is anyone ready to listen?”
The film then ends with that question lingering in the minds of its audiences and that of the characters we’ve met. The image of women holding hands, in both strength and solidarity, is comforting, but there’s a bigger picture.
Netflix: Guilty ending explained
Essentially, the overt and dramatic ending ensures the film’s agenda is one that simply cannot be ignored.
The character of Tanu almost gives way to the writers completely as they make their stance on the issues discussed as apparent as possible. We almost deviate away from narrative in its final moments to consume a sobering and timely message, giving way to a brief lecture, reinforced by the statistics which mark our departure from Guilty.
The statistics read: “A year after #metoo broke in India, everyone who was called out is back at work… and at parties. Meanwhile, 95% of rapists in India are still NOT convicted. 97% of rapists are known to the victims. Of this, we are all equally… guilty.”
The enemy is silence, and if we are silent in situations which need our support we too are guilty. Your friend is not the perpetrator of these crimes, always the victim. Secrecy stomps out justice.
Again, this is reinforced by the lyrics of the song playing over the end credits: “my lips have started speaking up.”
The statistics argue that the #metoo movement has failed to achieve its aims, as those responsible for such crimes haven’t been truly punished for their actions. Progress can only be made when there are consequences – real consequences.
In ensuring victims are heard and given any measure of closure, we all must help in any way we can.
Twitter audiences react to Guilty ending
A number of viewers have taken to Twitter to offer their thoughts on Guilty.
Some think it sensationalises too much in its approach, whereas others think it hits a real nerve. Check out a selection of tweets:
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