varnachitram

A Blog on Cinema

On Movie Reviews

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Abhishek writes about the shallowness of movie reviews in Indian media

What bothers me is the shallowness of the movie reviews that are carried in leading media vehicles today. I understand that India churnes out more movies per year than any other country (where 9 out of 10 movies flop is another piece of important information) and that the journalists have to endure almost all of them with deadlines biting away their precious time to fill in the next day’s column which will be read by a million people from metros for there is not much to read in the papers apart from the chronicles of detailed follow up to celebrity weddings.

While what most authors say may be true, it is too generic. All of the above lines can hold true for all movies. There is nothing new that the author brings to the table about the movie that the reader whould want to read or would love to know about.

A Roger Ebert or a James Berardinelli tell you why they felt that the direction was shoddy. They seem to respect the space that they are given in the news papers. They will help you visualise why a Stanley Kubrick’s steady cam did the trick in ‘The Shining‘ and why Oliver Stone got it all wrong with his infatuation with turbulent camera jerks in ‘Any Given Sunday.‘ Aren’t Indian writers competant enough to use the english language to give us something new? May be our movies do not warrant the kind of clinical perception. But, with every Rang de basanti or a Munnabhai or the more recent, ‘Gandhi, my Father’ there are a hunderd reviews born and one among those stands out and gives me hope that the movie reviewing business ain’t dead. Not as yet. It is just that our writers are plain lazy to put their mind on paper. Oh, the writing is just too shoddy! [The trouble with movie reviews]

There is only one film reviewer who does excellent analysis of films and this year he has deservingly won the National Award for the best film critic.

3 Comments

  1. It is not fair to reach to a conclusion like “there is only one excellent reviewer” just based on Abhishek’s post. If you haven’t gone through CS’ reviews, you might want to check http://venkiteswaran.blogspot.com/ – He also had won national film award for film literature. (I do not know much about I. Shanmughadas from Thrissur, but he is also a noted film critic who won national award).

  2. You forgot the good movie reviewers/critics at vc, Iam sure they are expecting the next national award. I read a lot of movie reviews, B Rangan stands out, miles ahead of anyone else.

  3. Jo,

    Thx for CS’ blog link. I have been reading his awesome reviews for God-knows-how-long, but never knew he had a blog too!!

    🙂

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