The Dos And Don’ts Of Film Criticism

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Film Criticism
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If you also notice the different shots, cuts, sound score, editing style, storyline, and the performance of the characters in a film, and want to learn more about the same, Film Companion’s Film Criticism course is surely the one for you!

The unique platform for entertainment journalism has created a unique e-learning course with the aim to provide hands-on, interactive learning to bridge the gap between academics and the industry. The first course, titled “Writing About Films” provides you with the opportunity to delve more into learning the basics of critiquing a film, covering a total of ten topics under the umbrella of Film Criticism.

A film critic, by definition, is a person who reviews films. But that is not all that a film critic must do. According to Anupama Chopra, founder, Film Companion, “Even though it’s called film criticism, it is not about critiquing a film.”

A film critic is always open to watching films and by providing context, he or she helps enhance the film. He or she should evaluate and analyze the entertainment landscape and delve into various contexts to deepen the conversation around cinema. “Good criticism, generates conversations, which is important”, believes Sucharita Tyagi, film critic, and former radio jockey.

Each module in this course is taught by celebrated working professionals from the industry, by drawing from their own experience and using examples from their work, showcasing the practical application of the various disciplines and aspects that cover filmmaking.

The course consists of five modules taught by Anupama Chopra, Bhardwaj Rangan, Rahul Desai, and Sucharita Tyagi. The course as a whole gives you a whole new perspective on how to watch a movie. It teaches you how to review a movie and how not to review a movie. 

Tyagi also stresses on how to review a film on video. Reviewing films on video for the past few years, on Film Companions’, ‘Not a movie review’, she believes that film criticism is more about “reading a movie and its informed analysis.”

Before reviewing a movie, one must always decide as to what kind of film critic one wants to be – “you can either recommend movies or analyze them,” says Bharadwaj Rangan, national award-winning critic. 

One of the most important things while reviewing a movie, is that one must not state the obvious, but convey his or her own experience of the film with pointed and specific examples. Most film critics believe that, the more personal a film review, the better. One must always stay authentic and draw their conclusions from a film and avoid generalizing. “It is very important to articulate and trust your instincts”, believes Rangan.

Most film critics today, give a verdict through ratings and stars for a particular film. However, as a film critic, it is your job to let your readers decide. One must refrain from giving verdicts and just argue and defend the merits and demerits of the film, based on one’s liking of the film. “Giving star ratings”, according to Chopra, “often takes away from the nuances of critiquing a film.”

The last course in the module talks about how one can evolve as a critic and what steps one ought to be careful of as a critic. It is easy to get carried away by praise or other people’s perception of you. Engaging in trolls might also hamper your skill and performance as a film critic. Integrity and credibility are two important factors one must always keep in mind while critiquing a film. At the end of the day, one must remember that film criticism is entertainment journalism, and as a journalist, one must honestly speak to one’s readers. According to Chopra, “Film criticism is your reputation as a film journalist. While reviewing a film, you cannot compromise on the ideals of journalism.” 

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