Critique of Critics.

This week I have decided to write about film critics. The reason being - I am honestly not a fan of film critics and I find myself become annoyed with them regularly. My main issue with film critics is their control. They have the ability to make a film a hit or a flop, however in recent years I have noticed a trend emerge. This trend is a lack of faith in film critics, I have found that people are less likely to just believe what they read and will instead watch the film for themselves before passing judgement. If you have read my first post on here you will remember that the reason I began this blog was because I had read a Star Wars review that was eager to follow the trend of trashing the Star Wars prequel trilogy and I realised that film critics lacked personality and individuality. In that moment I was inspired to write about films myself. Here I should highlight that I would not label myself as a film critic - rather an enthusiastic film fan.

I took a film criticism class whilst at university - I wasn't very good at it. The main reason I was not exactly great at this class was due to the obscure films that we had to watch and then 'review'. Another reason was the pretentious approach the class had towards films (I found that most film theorists almost looked down on filmmaking - which I find odd because there would be nothing to analyse and criticise if no one was making films). I felt that the role of a film critic should be to write about what they thought of the film not what the teacher or in the real world publication wants them to write.

As I mentioned above film critics hold a certain amount of power over potential film audiences, a power that has only grown with social media. As you scroll through your Facebook feed I am sure you have seen posts by film critics, I certainly do. I however have not clicked to read a critic review in quite some time, one reason for this is: I cannot stand how pretentious and unoriginal they tend to be. Moreover critic reviews are often published before a film has been released to the public and therefore I do not want to ruin the film by reading a review because viewing a film is an experience and spoilers can ruin the emersion of cinema.  So instead I read the comments on the posts and I have noticed a trend - people are beginning to lose faith in film critics and that makes me rather happy. To see people rejecting unoriginal reviews and instead choosing to see the film themselves is great.

However the power critics have is still substantial. When I thought about writing this post one film came to mind: Suicide Squad. This film I feel was unfairly treated by critics, the bad reviews were published days before the film was released and this had a huge impact on the reception of the film. Everywhere I went I heard people saying 'That film is meant to be really bad' etc... This film had gained a huge amount of hype through trailers but as soon as critic reviews came out that hype disappeared. I saw Suicide Squad, I enjoyed it, I brought it on DVD. My question is would this film and many others faired better if the critic reviews had been positive? Maybe. It makes you wonder if certain publications want films to fail or succeed - that may be a little too much of a conspiracy theory though.

I find that public opinion can quite often be different to that of a critic, I sometimes think that this is a result of critics analysing the film in the same way one would analyse a novel in a literature class, rather than taking a film at face value. Yes I understand that some films call for you to pay close attention to symbolism etc... but that is not the case with all films. Such as The Greatest Showman - a film that gained a negative reputation amongst critics because the film did not purport the true story. Yet the public myself included found the film to be a pure form of entertainment. The critics were so wrong. Moreover as stated above film theorist tend to ignore the amount of time, talent, heart, and effort that goes into creating a film, and when a critic destroys a films chance of success it seems they forget about everything that went into making the film.

Overall I understand the importance of Critics to the film industry, they can create hype, they can raise awareness of films etc.. I just wish they were more personalised and less pretentious. I also wish they tried to understand the amount of time, effort, heart and soul that goes into every film that is made, rather than just trashing a lot of peoples work in 500 words. I am so glad that what critics say has stopped being seen as true, that can only be a good thing for the industry. Now we just need to get awards ceremonies to include films people actually watch at the cinema in their nominations, but that is a post for another time.


Thank you for reading

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Please let me know what you think on this subject - would be great to know how you to feel about critics.

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