Monday, August 31, 2015

Movie Critics
Vasu Reddy from Chicago

You pay a few bucks and see a movie in air-conditioned comfort for a couple hours.  You probably buy a bag of popcorn and a soda for a couple of more bucks and enjoy the solitude of time and the experience, either by yourself or with someone else with you in the theater, and leave with the experience of watching someone else’s point of view on big screen.  Just for a few bucks we escape the reality of life and watch people, locations that we probably will never see and situations that most times defy normal logic for any person; that’s what we expect and get from movies.  There is no language or actor/actress, story or a fib, history or mythology, mystery or magic and anything else we can think of has been made as a movie.  In about a hundred years of making movie magic, directors and producers have just about thought of story-telling that continues to draw us to the theaters.  Language and logic are not criteria for people who make the movies and people who watch the movies.  Until the time we started to see the term realistic cinema, which joined the movie terminology to tell us that the movies are true to real life, movies simply provided a couple hours of escapism to the viewers.  Movies are a great source of escapism to the viewers.  For a couple of hours they are a source of world far away from reality, engrossing the human emotions and locations and plots from the imagination of writers, actors and directors, making things up.  They are very far away from reality.  Movies and celluloid continue to provide to our imagination and state of relaxation, all while escaping to the world that is only on film.

With TV and internet becoming a staple in feeding 24/7/365 updates to people (in just about every language there is) the business of reviews on everything imaginable and comments on everything has become a routine for people to look at before they do anything.  Buying something or going somewhere or watching a movie; everything has a lot of reviewers who offer their opinions online.  Movies have really become punching bags for just about everyone who might have watched a movie.  No question that the professional movie reviewers have been around for a long time, and they do have a pattern of like/dislike on a certain type of movie.  But these days everyone who has a computer has become a critic.

Most of the men and women involved in various aspects of movie making do it for a living.  Almost all of them are professionals and work with large teams of people to bring a movie to becoming a product to get it to the theaters.  It is true that the movie makers cater to movie going audience preferences o bring them to the theaters.  The melodrama, story, action. Locations, men and women, drama, song and dance, editing. Screen play. Direction and logic; and whatever is involved with movie making takes into the consideration into drawing as many people to come to the theaters to watch the movie.  It’s a business that spends money and most times has a hard time recovering the money.  Just like a startup businesses, movie makers invest and hope to recover their investment and also make a profit.  The product they put out is typically tailored to what people are willing to pay to watch.  Men and women are equally displayed, and cinematic liberties are taken to extremes.  That’s what movies and movie making is.

To be critical of a specific movie or a specific person in the movie is entirely valid as they simply can’t satisfy everyone who watches the movie.  No one can simply satisfy the views of all people.  But to criticize a director or actor/actress, and how they were presented in a movie, and how they look and how they behave, is really not being a movie critic.  It’s venting frustration on one’s own idiosyncrasies.  Movie makers, actors and actresses, technicians and directors are all simply executing to their celluloid vision.  They hope that people will go and watch the movie, and enjoy the escapism for a couple of hours by spending a couple of bucks.  Beyond that the choice of the viewers is what make a profitable movie venture.  Taking a person and chastising him or her, taking a situation that represents a small portion of a movie, attaching a race or bias to a person, being critical of a comment or an instance, or a person’s behavior outside of the movie; the part-time critics are often abusive and analytical.  While venting out personal opinion might sound good to the person who is doing it, it is often offensive and degrading to the reader/viewer.  It doesn’t achieve the objective of being a movie critic, rather someone who sounds angry and frustrated, and has a lot of time to put out personal opinions on individuals who are no way connected, and events that are unrelated.

Unfortunately simply googling on the internet brings out all kinds of references to a particular movie, and you end up seeing people venting out their opinions, behaving as movie critics.  Far from being true to the movie, they are simply being angry and opinionated.  No stopping people using their internet and expressing opinions, but the least we can do is make them happy endings.

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