Film Critics : Misunderstood but majorly believed

Movies and entertainment have been a vital part of our lives and as I have always discussed they are the stress buster,escape from the reality(be it for a short span of time),always the first option to freshen up your mood(be it depending upon your likeability) etc.etc.In the year 2020,the film industry witnessed huge changes and the audience preference shifted to OTT platforms and web series such as Scam 1992,Mirzapur 2,Asure,Pataal Lok etc. etc.But but despite having numerous choices we could easily list out what to watch and what not because of tools such as movie reviews and film criticism or by watching out to what film ctitics said or recommended.

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Yes believe it or not as I even said in my last article film criticism or film critics are always necessary to watch out for as sometimes even believing 10% of what they say about the film or any of its aspects or department can help you take wise decisions on what film should you spend your precious time and money on.Although there have been time and again questions raised on these people and various juries about their authenticity and honesty towards their craft and whether or not a particular man/women is really deserving for the job but nevertheless it is true that these discussions will always be endless.

National Society of Film Critics :

As this profession is not always in much limelight as far as film making and production is concerned the reason of which is that usually people often go ahead for watching a movie on the basis of word of mouth and also on the basis of how well the cash registers are ringing.But since this has been a prominent organisation from an extremely long time I would just like to cover something about them for your general knowledge.

The National Society of Film Critics is an American film critic organisation that was founded in 1966 in the city of New York by Joe Morgenstern.

They are group of dignitaries known for their high and rich taste in films and their annual awards account for being one of the most prestigious and unbiased award functions held in the United States.As of now the society comprises of 60 of the most prominent film critics from all over the world and they provide their contribution and render their services to various media houses and newspaper publications.

Famous Film Critics :

Well,although nowadays ever since youtube and IGTV have became a source of fame and fortune there are daily new film critics born(Many of them even don’t have much knowledge about films or film making and keep praising their favourite actor on their channel) and are raised by the viewers just because they can rant,troll or crack one-liners irrespective of whether the film or its execution and treatment is good or bad.

But anyways there have been some prominent film critics such as Anupama Chopra,Rajeev Masand,Komal Nahta,Taran Adarsh,Subhash K Jha,Mayank Shekhar and many others that have been into the business from more than a decade and have been extremely responsible towards reviewing and analysing movies in their preferred style and also timely updation of box office collection and figures have been always communicated to them through tweets and blog posts wrote and presented by them for different portals.

Why are there fewer professional film critics in print media now than there once were?

Well,personally to be very honest this has been a question in my mind from quite a long time as to why there has been absence of film reviews in the local newspapers or the columns that focus on providing news about the glamour world.Although ever since COVID-19 has threatened the entire world people have discontinued reading newspapers because of a silly Whatsapp forward which claimed that the ink with which newspapers are printed is highly harmful and can spread COVID but even before that ever since various online portals for news have started coming into inception the use of newspapers has been on a decline.

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So,anyways coming back to the topic its true that there are not many film critics left who are approached by newspaper publication houses for their movie review column which is basically because only a particular age group of people preferably youth like reading those columns and also since they have now shifted to reading on digital mediums especially youtube wherein lot of creators have started their channels and writing blogs using different domains.

As far as professional film critics are concerned the reason of them being no more active and available for print media is because most of them work for some PR agencies and news channels and get handsome pay for this but on the other hand also many of them have started their individual Youtube channels and are earning good subscribers and views because of their reputation.

Famous Film Critics in United Kingdom :

Previously we mentioned about how the National Society of Film Critics functions and also threw light on their work and award functions although people who have been ardent followers of the entertainment industry have started recognizing many critics through social media and Youtube channels but film reviews by Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB ratings are taken very seriously in UK and many other foreign countries.

Although Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB have always been a trusted source but opinions and feedback from some notable move reviewers have always been a saviour and as far as watching Hindi films are concerned Indian film critics are also trusted there as well(the names of which I have already mentioned earlier).As far as film critics in UK are concerned to name a few they are : Martyn Auty,Philip Jenkinson,Mark Kermode,Anthony Lane,Derek Malcolm,Sheila Whitaker,Elizabeth Sankey,Kim Newman.Penelope Gilliatt.

How much do film critics make?

Well,just like the previous question even I have often wondered as to how much money do these critics make after reviewing a film or any content although a common man who has perceptions of film industry people getting highly paid and blame it for income disparity in the country but what the truth is needs a little bit of research which of course could be a gossip or rumour or a news with no concrete evidence but yes we can still put something on the table.

Its always astonishing and shocking to read or know about the humongous box office numbers a film has made in the theatres or a high fees that a particular actor is getting paid or how much money is the producer investing but how much does a film critic gets paid is something not everyone wants to know but the truth is they are getting well paid and are making money by getting their shows sponsored as well.

  • The average journalist in the United States makes about $31,000 a year.
  • Columnists make an average of just under $40,000 a year.
  • Freelance writers make an average of about $46,000 a year.

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Film Critics Awards :

Award ceremonies and shows have been covered in the mainstream media and obviously have been in inception since years now.With the passage of time and inception of more and more TV channels there are daily award functions been organised with the help of sponsors and although there has always been questions and doubts raised on their creditibility always but winning them is still a pride for many artists even then.

As far as categories are concerned even there are sometimes people awarded for stupid reasons such as the biggest social media superstar,cool attitude on sets,nothing to hide award,International Style Icon,Star of the millenium etc. Although these award functions have become like a primary school event where everyone has started receiving award just like a participation certificate so that no one goes home crying but keeping aside these stupid categories the award for the best actor and actress has always been considered to be the most prestigious one.This category has been divided as viewer’s choice and the critics choice and also the best film of the particular year is also awarded here.

Information about these can be easily acquired from Wikipedia and various other sources but here I would like you to go through the awards presented by the National Society of Film Critics. Click on that to know more about it.

Which of the following is something film critics and theorists do not focus on?

A film critic and analyst is someone who very well knows his craft and is also known for capturing and conducting some very engaging interviews of actors sometimes as a part of promotional campaigns when a movie is about to release and also sometimes when the year is set to end and when they need to pick up actors with best performances.Well known film critic Rajeev Masand is known to be hosting a Round Table discussion of actors,directors and writers whose films have did exceedingly well at the box office or have received a good response from the audience.

The most common factor or aspect of reviewing a movie by a professional critic and what the general audience is most concerned about is how many stars has that particular critic given to that movie or web series.But with the rise of corporates,PR agencies,media houses and political pressures these guys are now sometimes under scrutiny by these aforementioned groups and especially since with the rise and consumption of web series which is the new normal entertainment there has been daily controversies generated through them because of their content although this has not been anything new since bollywood films have been subjected to controversies earlier also and many a times censor board and the makers are in a sticky situation as to how to release the film and what to add and what not.Some examples of which have been : Padmavaat(2018),PK(2014),Udta Punjab(2016),Black Friday(2004) etc.etc.

I feel coming to the point this has always been a question as to whether or not these films had really controversial content or was it just a publicity or promotional gimmick but many a times in video or even written reviews it has been observed that critics often avoid talking about the controversial content or what actually was the reason or what was that particular scene which lead to controversy in detail or doing its deep analysis.Well,it can be easily understood that the reason of this is political pressures sometimes from religious and ethnic groups as well and its a harsh truth that in order to avoid any sticky situation they refrain from talking about them.Although I feel a critic really belonging to or an ardent supporter of political or religious group will not fear from talking about it.

Is film criticism really worth and vital for audience?

I have already covered the importance of movie reviews and film criticism in my previous articles but yes there is no denying to the fact that in awe of superstars or our favorite actors we often ignore how good or bad the film is considering someone else’s opinion.It has been a reality that commercial and big budgeted masala and potboiler films have been a choice of audience ever since the longest time over small budgeted quality content films which have less known faces and a small budget.

To be very honest as far as I have observed critics have always been supportive of films of these kinds be it Tumbaad(2018),Aaankhon Dekhi (2014), Kaamyaab (2020),Masaan(2015),Newton(2017) etc. etc. .Yes,I know many of you might not have even heard of these films and then you are ready to complain that Bollywood or Hindi cinema is solely riding on remakes and commercial and masala potboilers which are considered to be nonsensical movies with illogical and gravity devoid action scenes. So,yes this is where film criticism and the job of film critics should be appreciated because they are brutally honest in giving good ratings and stars to films such as Tumbaad and Masaan and also never leave a chance to bash and ruthlessly criticize films such as Baaghi series,Housefull series,Golmaal series etc. (Now I am very sure everyone of you know the names of these films and many of you might have watched these in theatres instead of the above ones).

Hence this very much clears the fact how film criticism and film critics are a saviour and prove themselves worthy in many instances while doing movie reviews.

What films were considered the best of the decade by film critics?

Ever since film criticism and the job of film critics have been into existence they have always been producing and presenting reviews through newspaper articles,radios,TV news channels and nowadays through youtube channels.There is no denying to the fact that films which have won audience’s heart and scored high on box office have ofcourse been applaudied by critics as well. DDLJ(1995),Sholay(1975),Hum Aapke Hai Kaun(1994),3 Idiots(2009) and many more films have set their records on platforms such as IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes.

Believe it or not other than the fact that the positive word of mouth worked in favour of these films becoming successful at the box office but it was also the fact that entertainment journalists and film critics and everyone involved unanimously accepted these films.It would be time consuming to jot down each and every best and popular films of the decade so I would recommend you to visit these posts by IMDB and get to know about them :

Best Bollywood films of the decade

Here I would like to take this opportunity to say that everyone reading this should consider watching atleast some of these films from the list.You can find them on different OTT platforms,Youtube and of course on Telegram.

Why do film critics and audience opinions often differ?

This has been a fact that many a times choices film critics and audiences often differ for various reasons the love of audience for commercial masala and potboiler films is of course evident and discussed previously but there have been instances where film promos and trailers created a lot of curiosity because of the film being unique and different with its storyline and cinematography but ultimately after the film releases a large section of critics claim it to be mundane and extremely ordinary or a rip of from a popular hollywood or other regional film and many other claims.

In my personal opinion film critics especially the notables ones on TV and close to film makers having high brand value are entertainment journalists but many of them haven’t experienced working on a film set or even bothering to learn about film making which includes camera angles,background music,VFX,colour and many other technical jobs of course they are people with high patience and are extremely intellectual and are well versed with their craft but often they tend to be complicated and sometimes biased in putting forward their opinions about a film.

Although there are many film critics in the entertainment industry but they have time and again been bashed and roasted by various actors and directors for not knowing their craft and putting up their opinions on experienced and professional actors and directors and claiming that they lacked expressions and comic timing for a particular scene.

Here,I would like to share one instance when Akshay Kumar back in 2012 while promoting one of his films on a TV channel claimed that critics in India are irrelevant and get paid for their ticket prices and popcorn before they set out to write a film review whereas in cricket the critics and experts seated there are Kapil Dev,Sunil Gavaskar,Navjot Singh Siddhu,Ravi Shastri and many others who understand the sport on-pitch and off-pitch.As far as films are concerned its good to get reviews and opinons from film makers such as Subhash Ghai, Manmohan Desai,Abbas-Mustan,K Aasif and many other veterans who understand this craft in deep.

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