Today, every movie buff is a critic. Witty, instant reviews on Twitter are grabbing eyeballs, reports K. Jeshi
Minutes after the release of Edhir Neechal, Soodhu Kavvum and Moondru Paer Moondru Kaadhal the verdict is out on Twitter. A young fan tweets “Just watched soodhu kavvum... hilarious…congrats to the entire team and vijay…Awesome job.” Another movie-goer sums it up with “ethir neechal super, soodhu kavvum also super, mpmk slow and mokkai”.
Today, every movie buff is a film critic. The reviews are witty and give a quick introduction to a film, and win many followers. The social media is fun, powerful, and gives people the freedom to express their views. Among the recent films, the twitterati hailed the super hero Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man 3 and gave a thumbs-up to Bala’s Paradesi. “People are racing against time and they want a quick review that instantly enlightens them about a film,” says Sreedhar Pillai, industry tracker on twitter. He reviews films in a total of five or seven tweets.
For a quick review to work, it has to be concise, precise about the pluses and minuses, and shouldn’t give any spoilers. Actor Ganesh Prasad posts reviews promptly after the 11 a.m. show. “I say whether the film is good or bad, the genre, and the USP of the film. This way I can reach my 500 friends who follow me in one shot. For Kadal and David, I just said, ‘no review, watch it at your own risk’,” he laughs.
Pillai says film industry people are clued in to tweets because of its phenomenal reach. “Stars like Ajith follow it closely. Tamil blogger communities actively discuss films. It is inclusive and the youth who watch the films are out there. So, when you like a film say it honestly. Do not promote any star or director,” he advises.
A buzz on the social media also helps a film to stay longer at the theatre. It gave films such as Pizza, Paradesi and Amen (Malayalam), a good opening. An offbeat film such as Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom got a positive feedback while Settai drew flak, especially for its unnecessary songs!
Content is king
However, the old rule holds good. Content is king. Be it Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media, reviews have to be sincere, says V. Jeevananthan, author of the award-winning book on cinema, Thiraiseelai. “Instead of a mere narration or a comment on whether comedy is good or bad, they should look deeper, research the background, bring in quality, and view cinema as an art,” he says. The downside is that at times movie buffs tend to target a film for political and personal reasons. Jeevananthan gives the example of Paradesi.
C.R. Hemanth Kumar, film critic of Hyderabad’s Post Noon, started blogging on cinema and the feedback led him to make a career in film writing. “From a fan’s point of view, they want to know one thing — is the film worth the money? Quick reviews give the answer.
Fans welcome fresh expression of ideas. Big names in the Telugu film world such as Mahesh Babu, Sekhar Kammula, Rajamouli, Srinu Vaitla and Trivikram Srinivas have a strong fan base and their films run irrespective of a review. But for films like Swamy Ra Ra, a crime comedy directed by a newcomer Sudheer Verma, a good rating on the social media worked in a big way for the success of the film. This is the best time to write about cinema.”