De-fragmenting the process of movie reviews., Behindwoods, Mani ratnam


Be it Santhanam's slapstick comedy, Mani Ratnam's serious storytelling, Kamal Haasan's mind blowing screen presence or Bala's heart wrenching stories, a film travels beyond the four corners and affects us in many different ways. For the audience, it is a mere form of entertainment but for us, the reviewers and critics, it is our bread and butter. We watch a film not because it is a pastime but for analyzing every frame and understanding the director's creativity. Here I am, defragmenting the process of reviews at Behindwoods.
> We watch and not talk
One of the most important parts of reviewing a film lies in giving complete attention to it without getting distracted even one bit. Over here, every week begins with a fight as all the film enthusiasts choose the films they want to watch on that coming Friday. Interestingly, none of us is sent to the films that we like. The point of reviews lies in getting myriad perspectives. An Ajith fan will be sent to watch Vijay's movie and a Mani Ratnam fan will be sent to watch a Hari movie. That's the kind of mixing that happens. So when we are assigned a film, there is a purpose. 
> It's all about E = MC^2
Now watching a film and calculating numbers would be least expected from critics. But that’s what we do. I was confused as hell when I saw the numbers at first. Adding the screen presence to direction and narration and multiplying the engaging factor to story and screenplay, you won’t believe the amount of calculations that goes behind ‘RATING’. While all of us just say 2 or 2.5 or 3.5 simply after walking out of the theater, we get back to work and start doing the math to get a 3 or 3.25 and so on. It is an interesting concept that clears our minds from bias or any sort of favoritism.
> Respect for films
As critics, it is easy to sit back on a chair and say that the film is good or bad. But a film is made with a lot of efforts from a whole unit and then released. What I learned here is that no matter what, who and when, a film must be respected for its making. A colleague of mine keeps insisting that I look at a film not just from what appears on screen but also what kind of thinking has gone behind the appearance. This indeed has helped me analyze the impact a film creates in our minds.   
> What goes as reviews stays unbiased!
The moment when the review is published, all eyes will be on what’s written and what the rating is. We equally await the response from people and the film fraternity. Some like it and most dislike it. But there is always a large community opposing the views. We stand strong there and not once has that influenced what’s published. We live in a society where perspectives are innumerable.
> Review the reviews
Learning from mistakes has always served as a helping hand for understanding the process better. Sometimes, I have probably judged a film from watching it for the first time. There have been times when I have felt that the movie was utter crap but later realized that it had something more to say. So learning has always been a continuous process for films especially because they are made by a large number of people for a larger group of audience.

At the end of the day acknowledging the efforts of the team till the end credits roll, is always something that I will take away from this place.

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