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When directors attack critics

Directors and film critics have always had a tenuous relationship. For every failed film, and every opinion that goes against them, filmmakers launch diatribes against critics who have panned their films. However, there is a trend to be noted in the recent past, especially as far as the language of criticism and the backlash to it is concerned. A recent blog post written by the ever controversial Ram Gopal Varma creates new heights in vicious words reserved for critics. From personal attacks to their integrity and a conspicuous attempt not to veil their identities, Varma has unknowingly brought to the fore some interesting developments in the relationship that has, almost literally, gone to the dogs. He calls Anupama Chopra ‘sweetie cutie Anupama’, Kaveri Bamzai ‘Buffalo Bumzai’ and traces how Khalid Mohammad was “kicked out and down the ladder from TOI to Mid-day to DNA, to HT to Asian Age, (and now) writes for some obscure website which (I) doubt even 5 people will read.”

It is a piece worth reading. Access it here.

6 comments

1 Yagna { 08.10.09 at 12:44 pm }

What RGV said is 100 percent correct. Who are these reviewers to judge the movie? They also have seen the movie ONCE as other viewers. If they have something good that they can do, let them come forward and do it, instead of barking like a street dog.
This bloody media has lost its consciousness and behaving like monarchs.

2 Kishore Budha { 08.10.09 at 1:30 pm }

hmmm… i wonder if we should simply stick our heads in the potty and pull the lever down a couple of times.

3 Anil { 08.10.09 at 9:25 pm }

Interestingly … Minty Tejpal -> Peppermint Tejpal.

I found one problem with the critics in bollywood is … they can review the film … but they should not scold director/producer.

I like RGV … Tit for Tat

4 Raj { 08.11.09 at 7:24 am }

Still I am not aware of the fact that based on what criteria ctics used to get selected .
Say for example Khalid Mohammed.
Fiza – ( avg grosser due to hrithik roshan)
Rest of his movies can’t even fetche a peanut seller in the theatre and he becvome critics.
Rajeev masand : His ambitionwas earlier ti beome a director . Every producer kicked him out from his door and as a result he became crtics.

Aagyat : I had watche the movie . Ist half was not so good, second half excellent . Camerawork is outstanding and the sound effect too good.
Awating eagerly for the sequel.

5 Kuhu Tanvir { 08.11.09 at 2:38 pm }

There is no denying that indian film criticism isn’t top-notch, or rather far from it, but what everyone fails to notice is the lack of understanding, and detailing in the work of critics. Lampooning them personally, with rude nicknames hardly helps the case.

6 Kishore Budha { 08.14.09 at 2:08 pm }

There is a lot of blame to be passed around. To put it in the simplest of terms, it is merely a manifestation of the wider problem of public discourse (or what it should be).

Directors such as RGV seem to be peeved at the result of the dumbing down of news and other articles in the mass media. Thus, in the eyes of the practitioners film criticism is the work of charlatans. In any case, most practitioners see film critics as people living in ivory towers while they (the practitioners) live in the “real” world. Thus, they are bound by their own self-constructed binary of real vs “nonsense” academic theorising.

Film critics in the mass media believe they have a duty to the paying “audience” and thus have the proclivity to dumb down and resort to strategies such as “stars” and “ratings”.

By and large, the audience is to be blamed as well as the wider environment has led to an impatience for informed film criticism. Anybody with an informed opinion is labelled an elitist. The comments here are quite informative of the citizenry’s opinion of critics and film writing.

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