Anil Thakraney: Film critics cannot be trusted

13 Jun,2012

By Anil Thakraney


I was once having a conversation with Mrs Jaya Bachchan on film criticism. And she made a valid point, and this is also the reason I have steered clear of taking up film review assignments: It is important for columnists who review cinema to take part in a film appreciation course. So that even if they aren’t completely familiar with the job of making movies, at least their basics on script writing, editing, background score, art direction, production, etc, are in place. And they are able to dole out insightful observations to their readers. Very true. And since I haven’t done such a course, I am reluctant to review cinema. Don’t think I am qualified enough.


And that new flick called ‘Shanghai’ is the last time I shall go by the critics’ verdict. Although wary of these guys, I did get carried away into believing this must be outstanding cinema. After all, almost every single desi reviewer was wildly gushing over it. Frankly, I couldn’t sit through the film. It was boring, wannabe, pretentious and very laboured. And even the story offered nothing new; every kid knows this nation is very corrupted. Self indulgent cinema at its worse, where the director gets carried away with his/her own sensibility, and forgets that movies are meant to engage and entertain the junta above all else. And no, in case you are wondering, I am not a fan of ‘Rowdy Rathore’ or ‘Dabanng’ sort of trashy cinema. In fact, I avoid Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar films like the swine flu. So this isn’t about my lack of ability to enjoy ‘refined’ cinema. I may not be an expert but I can tell fraudish work quite easily.


So then what’s going on? What’s gone wrong with the critics? There have always been hushed allegations of sycophancy and corruption in this trade, but I will choose to discount that. Instead, I would urge editors and programming heads to do what Mrs Bachchan suggests. Enroll your film reviewers for a good, reputed film appreciation course. You will see the results immediately. And pretentious films like ‘Shanghai’ will end up with a completely different review.


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PS: My time is now. Another wonderful ad from Nike. This one is set inside a barber shop, and it’s interactive too. What I like most about Nike’s advertising is the jehadi zeal with which they stick to the established brand personality. The Nike attitude is always a constant.


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One response to “Anil Thakraney: Film critics cannot be trusted”

  1. Genestho says:

    Not every critic was…maybe you read the wrong ones.