Have you heard about the movie ‘Selma’?
So it is an incredible movie based on black rights on voting. I watched it a few days ago and I remember how astounded I felt, like I felt after watching The Pianist.
I decided to read its review. I don’t want to sound like a snob, but I like reading reviews. While reading the review on the Roger Egbert site there was this paragraph where the reviewer explains a scene where Dr. Martin, a black rights activist, comes to visit a father whose son was murdered in front of his eyes.
This scene had stayed on with me. Like a fish beneath the surface of water, I had felt what it meant. But I was not able to morph my feelings into words. This is what the review did. It aptly conveyed what I felt.
This is what a good review does. It peels off the complexity of subject matter and puts forth the raw thought process behind a scene and the movie as a whole. It lays down the subtleties of the actions of characters. A reviewer doesn’t merely tell about the story, but also about the cinematography, the background score and how it reciprocates a scene. They compare it other works from the director before and also with similar works in that genre.
A review is like looking at the individual woolen threads and how they are wondrously patterned to form a sweater.
This is another example of a beautiful review of the Bollywood movie Highway by TOI, illuminating its flaws and feat simultaneously.
I don’t consider reviews to be absolute and I accept that reviews can be subjective, but they bind importance for me. A reviewer brain storms to display the soul of a movie and gives a better understanding of things, seen and unseen.
There have been some whispers about sold reviews. But a prominent reputed reviewer is very less likely to tarnish his years of labor over some bucks. And if he does, he/she won’t be able to stop at just one film making it easier for the public to identify him.
So yes, honest discerning critics are always important for any form of art to prosper, be it books, paintings or movies.