Tag Archives: Adoor Gopalakrishnan

Do readers and viewers care for film reviews?

How much do newspaper and magazine readers, internet surfers and television viewers, care for movie reviews? Do reviews help make up their minds on whether to watch a film or not? Do reviews affect box-office returns? Does a lower rating prompt filmmakers (and filmgoers) to take a higher road?

The weekend supplement of Business Standard newspaper has compiled a list of recent films and weighed their collections against the “stars” awarded by various reviewers. It proves, as the American stand-up George Carlin used to say, that you can never overestimate the intelligence of the general public.

“Have I re-thought a review because a film became a hit? No,” says Mayank Shekhar, formerly of Mumbai Mirror and Hindustan Times. “But I do consider the box office collection as a sort of public review. A review is just about 700-800 words as against the monstrous machinery of filmmaking and publicity on TV, radio spots, the web and hoardings.”

For the record, film reviews are a messy scene in India where newspaper and TV companies also have movie distribution and out of home advertising interests, which means reviewers and critics have their hands tied.

Image: courtesy Business Standard

Read the full story: Bad review? Who cares

Also read: Khalid Mohamed on TOI, DNA and the stars

‘B’ollywood journalism is about PR and pimping’

Has DNA got rid of a pesky film reviewer?

Adoor: There is hardly any good film criticism in India

The Times of India: one film, one review, three ratings

Singer accuses film critic of sexual assault


‘There is hardly any good film criticism in India’

Adoor Gopalakrishnan, India’s most acclaimed film maker abroad after Satyajit Ray, took questions from the staff of The Indian Express as part of their Idea Exchange programme.

Shubhra Gupta: How do you deal with professional criticism?

Adoor Gopalakrishnan: There is hardly any good criticism. What happens is that the people who write reviews, who think they do critiques, they are hardly equipped to do so. Go and equip yourselves. It’s very important because if you have seen a lot of cinema, it is fine. But what kind of cinema you saw is very important. You have to be very open.

When I make a film, I am very particular that I don’t repeat myself, whereas the person who goes there, who is going to write a review of it, has never seen anything new happening on the screen. A critic should be as equipped, as informed as the creator.

I hardly read a very good review in any Indian language. We don’t have good films so we don’t have a good evaluation of films, so we don’t have good films — so goes the cycle. I think there are opportunities here. There are so many universities that teach visual arts. There’s a lot of awareness, it can also go the wrong way.

When multiplexes opened, we thought it was a great opportunity to show the best of cinema, in those small cinemas. It did not happen. Instead, they were showing the worst kind of films — there is no choice. This is our misfortune: when things look like clearing, it gets enshrouded.

Read the full transcript: ‘I just make films…’