When asked whether he takes film reviews seriously, a prominent actor quipped, “Sure, I do read reviews, but I do not do my next film based on these reviews.”
This clearly underlines the film industry’s direct and indirect derisive attitude, dread and indifference towards a section of people who they feel “are not adding anything to cinema or its makers with their writings and readings.”
Most directors like to ignore the role of a film reviewer in their lives. From never taking them seriously, to never learning more than what is already known, it’s been a consistent graph of indifference. Here, I list the Top 12 Commandments about film reviewers/analysts in the film industry’s little black book.
1. You are eligible to write a review only if you have made a film at some point in your life or are planning to make one. If nothing else, you should have visited a film set to figure out how it all works.
2. If you have not done the above, but are a wannabe scriptwriter or author, or a friend/relative/cousin of any film people, we may still give your reviews some leeway.
3. A negative review invariably means that the writer has been paid, or has no clue about the nitty-gritties of filmmaking, or worse is unaware of the sweat and blood that goes into the making of a film.
4. A bad review could also be a personal vendetta against a particular director/actor/associate director or the spot boy.
5. If the same film were made in Hollywood, Iran or Kazakhstan they would have showered us with praises and called it radical cinema. We would have even become Christopher Nolan for that matter.
6. Observations about the lack of female representation, misogyny, casteism, and sexism could only mean that they are overreading and over-analysing the film. And if the writer is a woman, rest assured she is a derailed feminist and activist.
7. According to filmmakers, reviewers are broadly categorised into these groups: a) Those who are besotted by their superstar; b) Those who over-react to every simple film and display an inability to differentiate between mainstream and parallel cinema; c) Those who are carried away by their political leanings; d) Those who are social-media-silly-school-boy reviewers; and of course, e) the paid reviewers who give nothing less than 3.5 for every film.
8. If, as part of the promotions, you have been granted an interview with actors or directors, it is your duty to write a flattering review. Anything else would mean you are an ungrateful jerk.
9. Some of the most critically acclaimed films were losers at the box office. Very convenient argument one must say.
10. When a national daily gives us 4 stars and this small-time online reviewer gives 2.5, it clearly shows his/her lack of understanding about this medium.
11. The ideal reviewer/analyst is that brilliant mind who loved, lusted, and eulogized everything about my film. That person who proclaims my cinema as a flawless piece of art obviously knows what they are talking about. The rest require an urgent scroll down this list.
12. Interestingly, the after film promotions also include putting up social media posts with the "top ratings" of some of these so-called film critics in the mainstream/online/social media too. Very cool.
Views expressed are author's own.
This article was originally published on Fullpicture.in. The News Minute has syndicated the content. You can read the original article here.