Looks like stars of our filmdom are not impressed by the 'stars' given by our esteemed movie critics. In their defence, critics say they believe in calling a spade a spade. Filmmakers/actors claim some of them are not qualified enough to review serious cinema. It is also believed that directors who invite reviewers for party, exchange pleasantries in public walk away with good reviews for their films.
Of late, there has been a lot of bad blood between the two parties. Filmmakers who manage to get grand BO collections despite bad reviews smirk and say "We don’t give a damn about critics", and those who fail to get critical as well as commercial reception might find themselves saying - "So all those trying so hard to screw mu film can go screw themselves." Sounds familiar? Here's what people in film fraternity are saying about movie critics.
SRK: Many-a-nights, I have gone back after receiving an award - pumped up and all happy - just to read that what I really deserved was the Golden Banana for worst actor for the year. I become heartbroken, angry and completely convinced that bananas and critics, both should have their skins peeled and fed to the monkeys. (SRK said while addressing students of Yale University)
Sajid Khan: I have always maintained that I don’t give a damn about critics. The collections are a big slap on their faces. For me, critics have zero value. I feel that only a person who buys a ticket to watch my film has the right to judge it: praise it or spit at it. (After success of Housefull 2)
Samir Karnik: We conduct press shows in a hope that critics would say nice things about our film, but it's only a false hope. From now on, I won't conduct press shows. If they want to watch, they can spend their own money. Popcorn bhi mera khaate hai, aur likhte bhi mere baare mein hain. Sharam nahi aati," (They eat my popcorn, and write against me. Aren't they ashamed?) (After getting bad reviews for Chaar Din Ki Chandani)
Shreyas Talpade: I don’t understand our critics. Tell me how do you distinguish between good and bad cinema? Public go and watch what they feel is entertaining. Moreover not all films are made to please the critics. In any case, nothing is good enough for them! (After success of Housefull 2)
Sagar Ballary: “I’ve heard most reviewers are bought over with money. How come no sting operation is done on them? Just because cinema is not a national issue,” Ballary (After failure of Hum Tum Shabana)
Shahid Kapoor: So all those trying so hard to screw Mausam can go screw themselves ... Waise bhi aajkal kuchh logon ke adarsh buri tarha gir chuke hain.” (On Taran Adarsh's trade report that showed Mausam incurring losses)
Salman Khan: Audience is the final critic and if they like it, nothing else matters ... I make films to entertain audience and not critics, Salman said. (After Bodyguard's success)
Bollywood actor Salman Khan
Karan Johar: Film reviewers in India use witty language and nasty one-liners while reviewing the film. Before doing so they need to understand the basics of cinema, of filmmaking as there reviews decide the fate of a film. (Karan told reporters on the sidelines of FICCI Frames 2010 conference in Mumbai)
Anurag Kashyap: The reviewers in India need to go beyond finding faults or loopholes in screenplay...or things like cinematography was good/bad or the performances of the actors and all... They need to know cinema...and then criticise it... as it becomes a learning lesson for us. (Anurag told reporters on the sidelines of FICCI Frames 2010 conference in Mumbai)
Nikhil Advani: Today someone with a huge follower base on Twitter can have a greater influence than an established film critic, I really don't know how much a film review matters. (He said during Mumbai Film Festival)
Films that worked despite bad reviews
REVIEW: When viewed in isolation, Don 2 looks like the right package to woo the movie-going junta -- SRK in top form, a stylishly crafted story, pulsating and invigorating action and stunts. But it's not without its share of hiccups. In fact, the first hour and the post-interval portions of the film are akin to the two sides of the same coin. The first hour is bland, the second is energetic. The first hour is deficient in thrills, the second keeps you on the edge. The first hour disentangles at a languid pace, the second is feverish with several adrenaline rush moments.
- By Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama
SRK in a still from Don 2
REVIEW: Gags galore. Laughs? Well, not as many as you'd expect in a 180-minute marathon mirth machine. Somehow, the jokes get choked in the comic ritual of repetition. Once you figure out who's who and who's ha-ha in the farce fest, the attempts to cram as many characters into every frame as humanly possible begins to take its toll on the comic equilibrium of this tale of intermittent titters and some genuine laughs.
Akshay-Asin in a still from Housefull 2
REVIEW: Director Malineni stretches the film unnecessarily. It has three songs in the last one hour and even has Venkatesh in a transgender get-up, dancing to Poovai Poovai from Dookudu. The film has enough action scenes, imparting Venkatesh the macho look, while Trisha looks enticing and seductive in saris during numerous songs. But there is nothing really to set the screen on fire.
- Radhika Rajamani, Rediff
REVIEW: Vikas Bahl and Nitesh Tiwari’s story had the germs for an interesting drama but the screenplay, penned by Vikas Bahl, Nitesh Tiwari and Vijay Maurya, leaves a lot to be desired. The scenes and the dialogues written for the little kids are indeed cute, comical and enjoyable but other than that, there isn’t much to sustain the audience’s interest consistently. Resultantly, the interest level and involvement of the viewer dips at regular intervals.
- Komal Nahta, koimoi.com
Trade analyst Komal Nahata says that film reviews can also be manipulated but adds that it may not be true always.
"It is observed that if filmmakers or those associated in the process of filmmaking invite reviewers for party, exchange pleasantries in public and so on... they land up with good reviews and top star ratings... which is not always the case," he said.
"With increase in promotional and publicity related activities, reviews do matter for all kind of films. As we have a responsibility and we represent the audience, we share our perspective on films," Rajeev Masand, a noted film critic said.
(With inputs from Agencies)