Readers Write In #498: Chup: Why is film criticism equally important as the film?

Posted on October 4, 2022

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VS Shyam

Like cinema, in criticism too, how it’s delivered matters more than what’s delivered.

A serial killer who targets movie critics who give unabashed bad reviews for a good film and praises a bad film. Who wouldn’t want to at least know, if not watch, the story of such a different plot? Well that’s what drew me into this movie apart from few big names. While having a good serial killer and a romance sub-plot, the movie also stresses upon the importance of ethical critiquing. As a true cinema lover, the director wants to open debates and discussions upon that, so here I am, with a POV on film criticism (with my extremely limited knowledge) and a new found motivation (from the movie) for it 🙂

Why is film criticism important?

Cinema is one of the very few art forms where so many perspectives can be drawn from just one scene, let alone a movie. And those perspectives need not all be abstract, some are objective, conveyed by the makers, while others may be intentionally put into a frame. Those perspectives need to be unfolded, and that’s probably the intent of the maker. Film criticism finds those approaches, analyzes them, and introduces those to the au8dience. And it does much more. In my opinion, here’s why I think film criticism is important both for the audience as well as for the present and future filmmakers:

  • It makes us revisit the movie and catch up on the missed details, shots and compositions. It even lets us watch it from a whole new perspective.
  • Critics often compare the current movies with old classics of the same genre. And more often they may not be from the same country. A well cultivated critic could break cultural barriers, raise the bar for the audience and for the makers. It is both interesting and important to know a film’s history: the motive behind making it, why it was made in a particular way, why and how that particular director made it. It’s like a movie establishes a deeper connection with me once I dedicate time for knowing about its whereabouts.
  • Lastly, it discusses the positives and negatives of a movie, and the potential improvisations. This part may be more important for a filmmaker than for the audience. And yet this is the one which people take currently as a definition for criticism.
  • Current Truth

    Sadly today the unhealthy practices of people abusing and over-criticising a movie, ssometimes with vested interests, is going to help neither the audience nor the makers. Like any other art form, standpoints and context matter in cinema. And like any otherartist, a maker would definitely expect criticism for his/her work, be it positive or negative. But the deliverance of it matters a lot. It is a deal of understanding both sides: the maturity of a filmmaker to accept audience’s anger and the maturity of the audience to accept the makers’ genuine motive and mistakes.

    Chup!

    Okay, I am stopping myself from further lecturing before any of the readers shout “Chup!”. Let’s talk something about the movie. I really felt that the climax could have been a bit detailed, and not rushed through with cuts from an original film. After watching the movie, I had a couple of alternate endings in my mind: The critic who receives a ‘Thank You’ note from the killer, goes to meet him, and an ending conversation strikes up between the two. A closure to Guru Dutt’s controversy as well. A conversation between the killer and Nila, as it was a little unclear as to why the killer chose to kill her despite his love for her. A closure with Amitabh Bachchan re-entering a delivering a message to the killerwould have been a cracker.