The Meteorology Department finds frequent mention for its high rate of ‘getting things wrong’. It seems the critics share the same predeliction. More than ever before, the movies that have won the minimum number of stars on the critics’ weekend takes have blasted the box-office. Clearly, criticism and box-office-ism are two mutually exclusive ideologies, with the former forgetting the important business of ‘entertainment’. Superman Returns, just to take the latest example, is not getting a Palm d’Or let alone an Oscar. But the critics were tender.
The antics of Brandon Routh and his onscreen persona received positive analysis. “This Superman tickles something primitive and comforting at the back of the mind.” A few critics even detected a Christian imagery in the latest Superman. The audience, however, have been more lukewarm. “When it was all over, something was missing. Oh, yeah. The fun,” seemed to be a common consensus. The Da Vinci Code, on its part, had made critics squirm. Viewers, going by the number of ticket stubs, loved it.
Of course, not unlike the Met Department, the Movie Critics Inc tells its story by a strict reckoner that is rapidly moving farther away from the real world. Simply put, they just don’t know what to make of it. Which is why critics are forcing themselves to appreciate ‘rubbish’ that’s fun. Thus the new breed of Bollywood critics.