For all the glowing reviews Titli received from our lead critics, the first day collection of the film was just 50 lacs. Granted that the film is shot on a shoe string budget on real locations with newcomers and revenue of a crore for a production like this is more than satisfactory but the poor results raise many questions. The foremost being can reviews/ critics alter the fate of a film and the answer is no.
It is coincidence that renowned criti Peter Bradshaw at a workshop held for Jio MAMI 2015 elaborated on the very same points. Bradshaw recommended that it is important for reviewers to retain their innocence in the theatres and not get carried away by the analysis of the film. He emphasized that it is not about getting a review right all the time but about engaging and involving your reader/ viewer. In many ways a review of a film is like a film and if the reviewer is not engaged in what he is writing/ speaking the reader/ viewer is not going to be involved too.
Bradshaw said that most reviewers feel isolated when their opinion or ratings are not in sync with the other critics, they don’t have to feel apologetic. He said the sad part is that not only do most of the reviews lack original opinions but also are dull and matter of fact, which should not be because cinema is about passion.
Bradshaw was dismissive about his popularity and that so many people around the world watch films only after reading him and attributed his success to the reach of Hollywood, the internet culture and the fact that his medium was English. He said he was the beneficiary of a new revolution.
In a final question to how important is a critic to cinema his answer was revelatory, he said ‘Not at all. In the final analysis it is filmmakers who will be remembered not critics'.