Critique against critics

Criticizing artistic works of others seems to be the easiest, self-serving, ego-boosting, attention-grabbing profession. So,I think it is high time that I jumped on the bandwagon.

Imagine for a moment that you, without even having stepped into a medical college, read any technical books, leave alone surfed WebMD, start reviewing the operations and medical procedures done by professionals.

In words of Rajeev Masand, it would sound something like,’ While the doctor tried very hard to save the patient’s kidney, a weak disposition(read script) and over the top dressing( read art direction) made the operation not so enjoyable. I give it 1/5 for a good attempt. But the post operative stitches could have been handled better.’

Now there’s something about art, specially films, which turns everybody into a critic. Being a movie buff or having watched ‘Sholay’ 30 times doesn’t give you the right to give sweeping judgments or pass verdicts on the work of art or a labour of love of many.

Every director, script-writer, actor, or for that matter, anyone involved in the creative field works under multitude of constraints and may have various influencing factors. This could be budget, the audience the work is aimed at or quite simply the artist’s personal preference.

Case in point,’ Robot’, with a hefty budget of 150 crores boasting of a star-cast like ‘Superstar’ Rajnikanth and highly over-rated Aishwarya Rai Bacchan has been reviewed as bi-polar and cacophonous, but still a must-watch.

Now imagine the movie without the star cast or the astronomical budget and perhaps the strong PR machinery. Would the final verdict still be the same?

I acknowledge critics have a job to do and very often they take it too seriously by being overtly harsh and in many ways, trying to save their own a**.

Its so easy to rip apart any movie, criticize the mistakes in script, continuity, music, cinematography, etc. etc. knowing very well that there would be at least one sadist who would agree with your opinion.

What is risky is giving a positive ‘Thumbs Up’ to a movie the critic has liked which may or may not go well with the audiences.

This reminds me a lot, of the time when I was looking out for a second hand car and would rely on my mechanic’s “expert” opinion. No matter which car, make or model he would evaluate, his judgment would always be, ‘Its too expensive, ask them to drop the price by 40%’. This was his way of saving his a** as he would never be accused of making a bad recommendation or palming off an over-priced car. As a result I drove my Kinetic Honda for almost two years looking for my dream car at a throw-away price!

The fact is we have a lot of time in our hands( I’ve spent about two hours writing, rewriting and editing this post), so whats the big deal about wasting it on a mediocre or even a bad movie? It could very well be your contribution to art/cinema by giving the director at least a second chance to make a better one.

So my verdict: Ignore all verdicts, go see some good, bad or ugly movies

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Notes from self: Now that you’ve read the post on critic-bashing, please direct all your brickbats at Ravi, my husband who has written this guest post. A humble request though, don’t disown me or my blog after this πŸ˜€

The last few weeks have been crazily hectic. I’m yet to reply to the comments in my previous post. Hope to have my blogging and blog-hopping resumed as soon as I have my schedule back in place. Have a wonderful week ahead πŸ™‚

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42 thoughts on “Critique against critics

      1. He he I agree with R. I feel so abt ppl who bash books rt, left and all other sides πŸ˜‰ It’s diff. to write one page and they write sooo many pages and have to keep the readers hooked @ that!!!!!!
        Never thot so abt movies bcoz I hardly hardly watch any.

        Welcome R πŸ˜€

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    1. good good!!

      The bottom line of this post is that we should watch Robot??
      You are lucky Deeps, Ravi did a post for you! When I mention it to K, he rolls his eyes and I dont get the post!

      Swaram had also mentioned last year she will do a guest post for me… that also hasn’t come! 😦

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  1. You know there was a time I never used to believe in reviews while watching a movie…But then when you spend money on very costly multiplex tickets and the movie turns out to be absolutely trashy like RGV ki AAG or Khatta Meetha or Chandni Chowk to China. You tend to fall back to reviews before taking a call.

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  2. Your husband is officially banned from my blog πŸ˜›

    But no seriously, I don’t think you need to be a film maker to be a critic.

    The true test of any work that someone does lies on does it solve the purpose. So if you’re reviewing a doctor’s work, you have to see whether he saves enough lives. If he does, he’s a good doctor. If he doesn’t he’s a bad doctor. I don’t have to be a doctor to see this.

    Similarly, the purpose of movies is to entertain. If it doesn’t enteretain me, it’s bad. Plain and simple.

    If going by R’s logic, men would never be able to say this restaurant is bad coz. they’ve never cooked food themselves???

    Or parents who aren’t educated enough wouldn’t have the right to tell their kids – Study hard.

    Just coz. some Rajni obsessed idiot wastes money on a movie doesn’t mean we all have to watch it. Those who like Rajni can go watch it.

    Neverthless, I would surely watch it!!! Coz. it’d make a damn good review πŸ˜‰

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    1. Hi Rakesh,
      Your point on something solving the purpose or not is valid and that is precisely what I’m saying. Any work of art is subjective and would definitely appeal to someone hence solves the purpose.

      Your point on the restaurant bit doesn’t cut ice, because you not liking it is your personal opinion or taste which could be very different from mine. So if you were to go on national television and rate that restaurant to be good or bad, I’d expect you to have some culinary expertise.

      By the same logic, uneducated parents have every right to tell their children to study, but have no right to pass judgments on the educational system, curriculum or what books are good or bad.

      Same goes for movie critics. In a sea of personal opinions and preference, what would stand out is a critic who has some technical knowledge or practical experience.

      The problem is we seem to be mixing up views, opinions with critical analysis.

      Finally β€˜Robot’ is precisely for the Rajni-crazy crowd and if it solves the purpose then the film ought to be good.

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      1. Hey Ravi,

        Good to see you here. Art is subjective! It isn’t science and that’s exactly the reason why the same piece of art gets different reviews. However, there are few movies who get good reviews all round and there are some who get bad reviews all round.

        Again, a review says something not only about the piece of art but also about the Reviewer – as in what is the kind of movies he / she likes. And that is why you find, most people depend on one particular reviewer to tell them what movie should they watch and which one to avoid. So someone would like to listen it from Taran Adarsh, some from Raja Sen, some from Vee (a blogger you might not know) and some from me πŸ™‚ (Yeah, I’d like to believe some people have similarly weird tastes like mine).

        I don’t really think that art can be analysed. There can only be a view / opinion which is what most people give. And as I said, with Art, you don’t need a degree to be able to give an opinion.

        To judge a movie, I’d need to have eyes, ears and a brain in a few movies; to judge a restaurant’s food, I’d just need to have taste buds.

        Whether National TV pays me for coming on air and discussing my opinion is an entirely different subject, I think.

        Btw, Rajni got you to blog and this speaks volumes about his fan following πŸ˜›

        I’ll definitely watch Robot and we can again have a detailed critical analysis πŸ˜€

        Cheers!

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  3. Wow! A post from Ravi πŸ™‚

    Luckyyou Deeps, he even did a post πŸ™‚ I would be lucky if husband even read my blog 😦

    As for critics -I would have to agree – so many critics seem to pull down movies/books just for the same of it.. I hardly watch movies, but when I do, I go by people who I know share the same tastes as me, rather than these movie critics πŸ™‚

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  4. Halfway through reading the post,i started wondering about why it sounded different..only when i got to the comments part did i realise that it was written by u r husband ..Very nicely written.Rajeev masand very rarely says anything positive.Infact for some salman movie he gave a 0!.Everyone likes to pan a commercial big budget movie thats riding on Rajini’s star power and songs.Infact,the movie probably released with people prejudging it.
    Guha was just telling me today that he would do a post of his 1stday first show experience of enthiran.. Looks like its the season for husbands to jump on the blog-bandwagon after all.

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  5. wowo Bravo to him to have written this πŸ™‚

    i dont go by critics anymore , gone are the days when they were genuine now even the critics are like politicians they change there views with time … i dont know whats the matter …

    the job of movies is entertainments , so if i go to a cinema and come out with a smile and no more throughts that i entered it with then it has done its job… I went to see a movie after months and months in london a week ago, dagang and i came out smiling its got hardly any story, silly dialogues and silly fight scenes but I was smiling

    All the best to your hubby more guest posts i guess πŸ™‚

    Bikram’s Blog

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  6. Everybody has a right to express their opinion and thats how I take what the critics say. At the end, its upto you to decide if you need to go by their words πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    and please, get Ravi to blog, I need to form a team with all the husbands ! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

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  7. Hahaha!!!! I loved that disclaimer at the end!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    It just means u are not letting him watch the movie coz of bad reviews…and he is venting out his frustrations here…!! LOL :mrgreen:

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  8. So finally we have the perceptions of the dude too… !!!! I kinda dont like to bash up movies too much too… like you said ripping a movie apart is just so easy… but then… when I see 3 stars for Anjaana Anjaani and book a ticket and then can barely reach the interval… I m like… Sigh… !!!! NVM… I just saw it yesterday and just couldnt make it till the end ! 😐

    and dude… seriously get a url !!!! so that there is no moderation and there are no disclaimers !!! 😈

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  9. I have a slightly different perception here….Anything which is for public viewing opens up itself for critical viewing, nobody criticises anybody’s home or personal items.
    Medical operations are personal things, but movies are made for viewers, and if they are not there what will they do?..same can be said for any art, otherwise they can keep their art in their own homes, why sell?

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  10. I was just wondering what to write and then the last line i remembered…applying that…

    just good or bad blog, just read it ..dont comment…

    just kidding…i subscribe to the views of Renu’s comment above…

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  11. Thank you everyone for your comments. Let me summarize in the only way I’m used to.

    1. I do feel everyone has a right to have an opinion and preference. But when it comes to reviewing a work of art ‘which the critics are supposed to do’ , I’d expect that person to have more than basic knowledge on that subject. Art and specially movies seem to be the favorite whipping boys of all and sundry. Believing if they have eyes, they can judge and review movies based on their likes and dislikes.

    By that logic, since I have eyes, hands and legs and seen a few cricket matches I should be able to give a critical analysis on Sachin’s batting skills or Dhoni’s captaincy.

    2. From an artist’s point of view it will be so insulting and demeaning to be reviewed by people who have no technical knowledge or practical experience in that field. The only qualification they seem to have is the ability to make some smart aleck comments or look nice on television.

    With this I sign off. No more (re)views on this post πŸ™‚

    Regards

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  12. it’s strange how u end up writing about topics i have either on my mind or have already blogged about! I know your husband wrote this, but well, it’s on your blog right?

    I have written about critics and criticism – on a similar tone..a bit on a sarcastic style actually..and totally agree with your point πŸ™‚

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  13. I remember this, when I read ur post :
    My daughter wanted to see a movie some 7-8 months back. And I happened to read the review in one of the blogs that its totally a gone movie…very boring was the verdict. And I told my daughter abt this review. Her answer took me by surprise : “Ma, see the movie for yourself and form an opinion and never take anyone’s opinion to be correct for us” – I dont know what made her tell this – probably the fact that she wanted to see the movie desperately or what…but I liked her point of view.

    And liked ur hubby’s post – its the right thing to do…see the movie for yourself, and never take a critic seriously. πŸ™‚

    OK…this pooja holidays, I am sure to go for Endhiran…

    You know what…at Sathyam Cinemas in Chennai, there are 16 regular shows + 8 special shows EVERYDAY, for this movie…. πŸ™‚

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  14. Nice post, and as someone had mentioned, wouldnt be a bad ideat at all if he pips in and beats u at it too..blogging, going by the rave reviews for his first attempt. Better hold on to your forte and be wary! ;)but i know most men find blogging too much of an effort!

    the way i go about reading reviews, is read a review for a movie ive already seen, and see if our views match. then i go on to see the review for the movie i would like to watch!! so then the chances of going wrong is minimised!

    Like

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