It’s been a week that I have been back after my longest holiday in the last few years.
And probably my biggest yet!
Before I post an update on that, I would like to thank my Superbro Raja Sen, one of my two favourite Indian film critics (well, by now I guess most of you regulars here know the other favourite is good old Baddy to friends, Baradwaj Rangan to fans and I know him more as Baradwaj Rangan than Baddy)… Yes, so… Thank you, Raja for endorsing this blog and I hope sincerely that your last column has added a lot more weight to your reputation of being “the most hated Indian online”…
Recently at a film audio launch party, a popular producer-actor told me that he loves the way I “rip” films apart. Now, that’s exactly what the lady who issued me the Schengen visa said when I went for the interview at the German Consulate a month ago. But Umm… Er… I am not sure if that’s any compliment.
I am pretty sure Raja does not enjoy people hating him or writes reviews to be hated or writes reviews simply because he hates the makers.
I certainly do not “rip apart” films or at least haven’t started writing a review because people love/hate to read negative reviews.
It’s just a job that I do to the best of my ability, based on deadlines, prevailing mood at the time of watching and writing, availability of the backgrounders (this also involves watching all films related to the film – originals in case of remakes, rip-offs or tributes, prequels apart from reading interviews, synopsis and production notes… When Revenge of the Sith released, I had a blast watching all the five Star Wars films back to back in one night and when Clone Wars releases, I will have no choice but to watch all six at one go… Yes, I actually get paid for this) And I also write keeping in mind the crowd response and the context of what the filmmaker has tried to do and sometimes with the sole intention of balancing out skewed positive or negative reviews in other mainstream media (so as to say: Come on, it’s not that bad or Hey, it isn’t that good as they tell you)… And there’s the word limit factor that further affects the review – the desk may just deem it fit to remove any explanation of an argument and sometimes may want to play it safe when anything remotely sexual or any kind of slang is mentioned. [Recently, I had referred to Bipasha as Her Hotness in a recent review and found that it had been changed it to “Miss Hot” (sic!)]
With so many things to worry about including memory in case of forgettable films, I clearly do not have the talent to also manufacture negativity and humour along with all that mandatory analysis that’s required in a review.
It is foolish to even try to make every review a funny one or a negative one when your word limit is packed with the bare essentials – which consists of why the film works or why it doesn’t, along with instances, singling out departments or individuals that stood out for whatever reasons, a basic storyline avoiding spoilers, an overview of what the film, the cast and the crew achieves and a summary or suggestion of what the reader is supposed to do after reading the review.
Let me clarify – I am not even hinting that all this is difficult. I just mean to say that a reviewer cannot afford to stick to or be bound by one additional parameter when he has so many of these other things to do. Which is why I don’t try to make every review of mine funny or negative. Just like how every film is unique, it deserves a review that it truly deserves – a review that does justice to all the effort gone into making the film or in watching it.