30 August 2005

Film-shilm: Whose critic is (s)he anyway?

So I read a review in the Indian Express, telling me that "No entry" is a movie that should be avoided. An unfamiliar byline in Deccan Herald says it is fun.
My guess is that the latter is a newbie to the media, fresh out of a college, and enjoying herself--like the average youthful viewer.
Brings us to the question on film criticism: Is the reviewer someone who advises the reader to see or not to see a movie? Or is that someone imposing her/his standards on the reader? Or is this some arty critic using exalted standards of Cinema with a capital C, gorging on Truffauts like waffles for breakfast?
I broadly welcome the dumbing down of movie reviews, at least for their ability to connect with the average reader. But I would prefer reviews that assess films in their genre and mix healthy criticism with a feel for the readership. Easier said than done.
Writing for the Dumb requires a lot of Intelligence.
And it reminds me of a famous quote from Amitabh Bachchan, who was once asked why he was paid so much for running around trees.
Answer: "It is very difficult to make something stupid look convincing!"


N said...

I agree. I've often wondered whethere Indian critics take the meaning of 'criticism' a little too literally. Perhaps, they're insecure and feel it's better to err on the side of being too discerning rather than the opposite.

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