Cinephile's Thoughts

Confusing Film Criticism

The bad guys. This is how they make look like for the outsiders. The guys who decide what’s good or bad and what deserves attention or should rather disappear from the cinemas as soon as possible.

A film critic is someone who reviews a movie for some medium like e.g. newspaper. Did you notice something in this defintion? If it wouldn’t be for publishing it somewhere, each of us could be regarded as a film critic. And in some way, we are. We judge the movies we saw and decide whether we’ll see a film from this director, with this actor/actress or whether we liked such movie genre. In the era of Internet it’s also much easier to „publish” something. YouTube, Twitter, a blog like this one, we can find movie reviews everywhere. Thus, a huge amount of reviews on Instagram brought me to a question: what makes a good movie review?

Movies evoke emotions. Emotions, as an effect of personal attitude towards a film, shouldn’t be included in a review, should they? Because what we want to do is to stay objective. Otherwise, a review will look like a bunch of adjectives describing how sad/funny/boring a movie was. And a good review isn’t about emotions or writing „the actors were good”. What does it actually mean „the actors were good”? Was their acting memorable because they put a lot of effort in some scenes or because their burst of anger, cry or laugh was authentic? What does it mean „the story was good”? Was the topic interesting or the fact that it skipped the traditional three act structure?

New media make it believe that writing a review is easy. We are flooded by a mediocre reviews or better said: personal opinions which their authors call it reviews. What would be a professional review? I guess that the one which consists of az thourogh analysis: screenplay, camera movements, acting or even a light. It doesn’t stop only on the emoions which screenplay evokes but also on its technical execution. Is it possible to say something about lighting or cameram movements without studying it before? That brings me to this point: one can distinguish two things: opinion and a film review. The first one requires courage, the second one knowledge. Both combined together gives us a solid insight about a movie.

Is it possible to learn it on one own? It’s something I’d like to do. By reading, watching, testing, writing. Let’s check, whether film analysis is easy to learn. I’ll keep you posted.

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