As a recent super flop film was on its first television run(the hindi version, a month after its release) Twitter was quite active once again with the same hysterical reaction that accompanied that film’s release. Seeing them, a fellow Twitterer quipped:
As you figure out antecedent of diff. angles of film criticism in blogosphere, makes one to flinch away from blogging or writing reviews..
Everyone in the Internet world is a film critic now. And everyone is as cynical, if not more, as the one before him.Especially when it comes to Indian films. At least right now, I’ve seen it happen only with the Hindi ones, because of its reach mainly.
Over the past few years, I’ve turned towards the school of thought that gives it’s filmmakers a chance, not from the word go, but from what we actually get to see on screen. This doesn’t mean you give them some kind of a benefit of doubt and defend them till death but only that we list out a set of good things about a film and set of bad things about a film. Then, you weigh the balance but also put a value on these good and bad things and see how they outweigh one another. As a movie buff, I believe this is a far better way to judge than, say, doing a Taran Adarsh by saying whether this is paisa-vasool or not. And whether Raghubeer Yadav is brilliant or okay or passable or wasted. The system is not unwarranted. Nor is it something deemed impossible to work in the Indian scheme of things(wrt film industry). It might not have worked with the kind of films we got to see in the whole of 1990s. But in the last decade we’ve seen able writers and directors exploring different themes, different kinds of filmmaking and bold enough to treat subjects differently. Now when we have got this far, it is a far more rewarding experience, for both the audience and the makers, when there is some amount of thought and justification in film criticizing. Yes, I agree we still make those completely trashy movies. We have trashy filmmakers, average filmmakers, good filmmakers, excellent filmmakers and an auteur or two(or maybe more). I am not asking you to adjust your analytical device, checking for zero error or advancing it by a unit or two, while criticizing a film with respect to the director involved. Not at all. But a film by its own merits deserves a bigger chance. And trash where you can. Also, film criticism is ultimately derived from ones opinion. You may give me the argument that “Everybody is allowed to have his/her opinion.” Of course, not denying that. But what if, in a lot of cases, the opinion is somewhat influenced and seems almost universally conditioned.
That’s where the Internet/Twitter comes in. It’s almost a derivative of social conditioning. Like social network conditioning. Do not misconstrue this to be in the same league as anti-elitist or Internet Hindu kind of accusation. Of late I’ve seen how there is an utter disregard for almost every Indian film that releases(only Internet/Twitter am talking about). Most of the time even before it releases. Some of the indie filmmakers are given the benefit of doubt(hypocrisy is the major problem here) but the mainstream efforts are all considered trash and waiting to be dissed. The famous/prominent person’s opinions are taken for granted and widely shared all over and believed to be true. This might sound scathing or accusing but I’ve seen it happen. It’s almost like real life Inception is happening! People going into the movie have the pre-determined idea that it sucks thanks to Internet/Twitter. So they don’t give a damn and live tweet. Live tweeting a movie is the most in thing right now. People look at their phone screens more often than at the movie screen. I am pretty sure that if they leave their phone screen for sometime they’ll catch a moment or two that they’ll actually like and enjoy. Convictions are dictated by the best they’ve seen and there is no room for moderation. Things can only be awesome. If they are not awesome, they are downright trashy. Also, with people making a living out of trashing movies(I admit it’s brilliant talent and much fun to read), nitpicking has become so cool.
Oh well, that’s the rant and I really don’t have a solution. And I am quite happy in my movie buff world.
As for Aisha, for being a chicflick/romcom, you could do far worse than this one. A fairly faithful inspiration of Emma(yes, it’s more Emma than Clueless unlike what a bunch of you think), the film hits the right notes when it transforms the Highbury setting into South Delhi with it’s myriad of playful but engaging characters. It falters with some bad direction in the final twenty minutes(also ridiculous dialogs), that pulls the film down by quite a few notches. But the first half and until Aisha’s epiphany, it’s laden with some light moments that make for good viewing. And of course, #GRCA material.