Saturday, June 14, 2008

The art of writing a poor movie review.

There are some simple rules when it comes to writing a movie review things like understanding the audience, provide some original opinions, most importantly to summarize the movie than spoil the film.
Given the fact that Dasavatharam is one of the biggest releases this year it serves any large newspaper or media outlet to come up with a review to match the audience's expectations. The Chindu lets Malathi Rangarajan, definitely not the most creative of reviewers, to write a review on this film. She starts off decently providing a high level view of the film production and some platitudes towards the star and the director.
Spoiler Alert
Then she decides to expose the key twist of the plot under the section 'Simple Plot'. Another spoiler which could've been avoided is the fate of the second most promoted artiste (after Kamal) in this film and I'm not referring to Asin. As usual the Chindu takes unnecessary potshots at one of the religious characters,
a 12th century temple priest, whose insular faith ends on a tragic note.

Last I heard in the 12th century, most religions were insular, like the Muslims were massacring Kafirs in the hundreds of thousands, the Christians were fighting their hundred year wars and so on. The analysis of the various aspects of the film is very disjointed skipping between the actors to the technical aspects then back to the actors and so on making for very difficult reading.
Last word
Writing a good review is tough given that the writer often has to observe and capture a lot of diverse facets of film making into a one-page review. Given the amount of work the filmmakers have put in, the investment made by the producers and the expectations of the audience it would seem becoming of the reviewers and editors at Chindu to write a decent review and not let the cat out of the bag. Unfortunately for all of us, they have dropped the ball again.


Anonymous said...

I am not sure it is a regular film "review", which is usually presented in the Friday supplements. Since there has been so much hype (including reports about special screening for George Bush at the White House!)about this movie, perhaps Chindu decided to write a story, so as not be left behind the bandwagon.

Also, the ten-role actor being a self-proclaimed secular, Chindu might have thought of giving him some sympathetic coverage and also the secular compliment "....the dialogue in this Aascar Films production boldly interrogates religion...".

Dirt Digger said...

Generally the Friday supplements are printed way in advance, usually Wed. or Thursday and then added to the main newspaper. Hence adding the review to the Saturday edition seems more of logistics and also giving it some special coverage.
The hypocrisy of Chindu's statement,
"boldly interrogates religion..." is that they would raise this only if the religion were Hinduism. Had the interrogation been of Islam or Christianity I'm sure they would be crying hoarse about minority rights.