‘Henceforth They Will Watch Movies, But Won’t Review Them’
Mumbai/Chennai: For all those forever complaining that nothing good ever comes out of a Salman Khan movie, here is a news that will make you think otherwise.
The pointless potboiler film Ready, which has been declared a hit despite receiving severe flak from learned critics, seems to have driven home the message to publications that film reviews are far more irrelevant than they were originally thought to be.
Many reviewers, in fact, issued dire warnings against watching Ready.
It’s a Salman Khan film, they pointed out perspicaciously.
Asin is the heroine, another said, escalating the warnings direly.
‘It’s a movie whose original was a big hit in Andhra’, they said euphemistically, in a bid to point out ‘so imagine how stupid the film will be’.
But none of these things seemingly cut ice, as the Hindi Ready has been a certified hit, proving that stupidity, in certain packages, will find audiences discerning enough to pay for it.
So post-Ready, many publications and TV channels have reportedly told their in-house film critics to stick to their core strength, which is to ‘just watch movies and receive salaries’.
Sources in the industry said that only a couple of senior and well-known writers in a few publications may be allowed to continue with their reviews because of their ability to ‘conjure up articles remarkable for occupying a lot of newspaper space for which finding advertisements is difficult’.
‘We knew people seldom took seriously what the film reviewers dished out. But we persisted with the reviews section because it gave us the excuse to purvey what has been the real strength of newspapers ever since it came into existence: Seductive stills featuring some attractive young actresses. But the resounding success of Ready, which features an actress who is not even close to being young or seductive or attractive, has forced us to take a hard look at the whole reviews page,’ a said a top guy in the administrative/marketing section, which is generally in charge of the news pages in publications these days.
So the time to bite the bullet is upon us. We have reached the tipping-point. A paradigm shift has to happen, he added underlining the fact that no matter what the situation is a management-type guy will find a way to thread ‘paradigm shift’ into his sentences.
‘Leave the reviews and dissections to well-known anonymous bloggers and tweeters,’ is the message that seems to have gone out to most reviewers. ‘At any rate, the traditional media cannot compete with the celerity of the new medium. These days bloggers and tweeters are out with their full-fledged, well-analysed reviews just minutes after the trailers are out’.
‘Without the film reviews, the biggest challenge before the newspaper industry now will be to decide on which page to publish the photos of young actresses,’ he said and added ‘we will push them into those spaces in newspapers which traditionally draw very little readers. Probably alongside Lok Pal Bill news reports.’
Reacting to the news of axed reviews, ace media analyst Anant Rangabashyam said ‘it’s a sad day for a film buff like me. If not for reviews on Hindi and Tamil films, how will I know anything about the Hollywood greats?’
‘For instance, I have acquired knowledge deep enough to secure me a doctorate on Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie, courtesy a couple of reviews on the Tamil film Aaranaya Kandam,’ he said and added: ‘one of these days I hope to come across a review that discusses the person who actually directed Aaranaya Kandam’.
Anant Rangabashyam also rued the fact that he will now miss these quintessential, bite-sized capture of movies from established reviewers: ‘Paisa Vasool’. ‘Strictly for Mayilsami fans’. ‘These pithy words, to me, describe deep the intelligence of the writer in taking the readers to be complete morons. Alas, I may have to forgo them now,’ he wryly said.
But the positive thing is, Anant said, I will no longer have to endure utter balderdash just because a few critics were enamoured of them.
It’s not clear whether he had in mind films like Wake Up Sid! and Band Baaja Barat that were hugely recommended by learned reviewers, but were in reality absolutely insufferable.
(Disclaimer: A leading trade analyst, who is deemed a reviewer for whatever reason, will, however, continue to give his honest and precise critiques based on the artistic merit of how close or not he is with the film makers)