When writer Kanika Dhillon puts pen to paper, you can be assured of a strong woman character driving the narrative. With Guilty, fronted by Kiara Advani, the writer explores the different versions that emerge when a woman accuses the college heartthrob of rape.
“Guilty deals with the issue of sexual assault on a macro level. It does not only deal with the act, but also [shows] how the [survivor] is subjugated to humiliation and judgement. On the other hand, what happens to a person who is accused of rape? Are we giving him a lot of leeway, or using preconceived notions to judge him before the judgment is out?” questions Dhillon. She adds that an all-women team at the helm of affairs—the script has been co-written by Atika Chohan, director Ruchi Narain and her—made sure that the gaze does not veer into the exploitative. For the film, she borrowed from her experiences in St Stephen’s College, Delhi. “I wanted it to be set in DU because it’s a big part of my experience. We have seen the euphoria, emotions and drama of campus life.”
As the free-spirited Nanki who stands by her boyfriend when he is accused of rape, Advani is a far cry from the demure roles she has essayed so far.