Disclaimer: When I say film critic, I am not actually referring to professional critic rather it’s about a passionate film critic.
Usually, there is a very elusive sense of definitions everyone has been holding about a critic. In my view, a critic is a reviewer who gives his/her opinion with the elements of good and bad aspects of an art, film, theatre, company, food, etc. Criticism is subjective and varies person to person.
Now that we have laid down the definition of a critic, let’s write the guidebook.
1) Must Be Passionate About Film
This is a no-brainer and straightway taken from the disclaimer section. If you want to become a film critic, you have to have some love for cinema and curiosity about the medium.
You may disagree with this point. You can’t give your opinion on something which you don’t love or not interested. We must understand that the main purpose of criticising any movie is to encourage improvement.
2) Be an Audience
You must leave your over-analysing cap while watching a film. Remember, you are here in a theater or in front of your laptop/mobile/tv to watch a film because you love the medium of cinema. You appreciate it. Being a critic during your watch time will take all the fun out. It confines your brain to just analyse or, probably, go for nit-picking but does not let you live the experience. Hence, you must enjoy a film as an audience in order to appreciate the art form.
3) No Need to be Technical
A film is nothing but a visual storytelling and, as a human, we have been surrounded by lots of stories. Believe it or not, we all love stories. Probably, our genre of grasping a story might be different. So, it’s alright if you have no clue about camera settings or angle, editing techniques, filmmaking rules, etc. If a film can articulate a story in its runtime, your job is simple.
4) Be Patient With Plot
This is a big one. If you, as a critic, have decided to take out some time to watch a movie, you can’t ditch the film in the middle and write about it. The film might be boring or bad or slow. You have to be patient with the plot throughout its runtime.
Additionally, if I may suggest, every critic must experience the filmmaking, either as a spectator or as a member. Because after observing the entire process of filmmaking, even for the short film, you will never leave a film in the middle. Complete the film if you have started watching it.
5) Be Opinionated Not An Expert
This has an issue with so-called critics. They always scrub the line between an expert and reviewer. As a film critic, your job is not to discourage anyone to watch the film but to give them the reason to watch the film (even, the bad ones). Leave the decision to a reader or your audience, whether they want to watch the film for those particular reasons.
You must give your opinion on the film but also let them know what didn’t work for you with a good reason. If that particular reason doesn’t bother the audience, they can watch it.
This is all you need to follow to become a film critic. If I leave, I must stress on one more fact: There are millions of database of movies, you can watch any of that according to your taste but to truly appreciate the cinema you must read varieties of books, watch multiple genres and language films and be open in your thoughts.
That’s what I do. If I missed anything, you are most welcome to let me know in the comment and I shall add with a proper credit to your name.
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