Guilt: Review


Jessie (Janet Shay) is a child psychologist. She spends her career counselling children who have experienced the most unimaginable things and it’s starting to become too much. Taking matters into her own hands, Jessie decides that it’s about time that she does what the police could never do, to give the abusers what she thinks they deserve. However, when a boy returns after years of being one of her patients, Jessie starts to realise that there are consequences to her actions.

Guilt is an Australian drama written and directed by Karl Jenner and Lyndsay Sarah. Going through Jessie’s life, the movie follows her closely as she finds one abuser after another and does what she needs to do to ensure that no other children are harmed again.

Although setting her as the protagonist, Jessie is also seen to do terrible things to people which opens up the question of whether her vigilantism is right. The trouble is that Guilt never really answers that question properly and despite showing moments of her own guilt, the movie still stays on her side even when she finishes off one last job after learning the full extent of her actions.

Jessie eventually meets Grace (Hayley Flowers), the girlfriend of a convicted child abuser and trafficker and although their initial meeting feels forced because Jessie knows exactly who she is, the movie does attempt to give depth to a side of child abuse that most people wouldn’t consider.

Shay and Flowers do play their scenes well against each other and their scenes are arguably the most compelling of Guilt’s story, but their story arc does leave the audience with mixed messages as it comes to a dramatic end.

Guilt may have all the right intensions and through the use of the media it shows that the movie does show that it’s not just one sided when it comes to understanding the victims, their abusers and the effect on wider society.

However, the story is just too simplistic, which leaves the audience who disagree with vigilantism to be appalled and those who support it to applaud.

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Joel found out that he had a talent for absorbing film trivia at a young age. Ever since then he has probably watched more films than the average human being, not because he has no filter but because it’s one of the most enjoyable, fulfilling and enriching experiences that a person can have. He also has a weak spot for bad sci-fi/horror movies because he is a huge geek and doesn’t care who knows it.