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Last Updated 03.04.2020 | 7:32 PM IST
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Sagar Ballary accuses film critics of corrupt practices, critics react

The unflattering reviews of his last film Hum Tum Aur Shabana have not gone down well with the director Sagar Ballary.


In an open attack on film critics Bellary accuses them of malpractices.


Says Ballary bitterly, "I've heard most reviewers are bought over with money. How come no sting operation is done on them? Just because cinema is not a national issue? I think the current crop of reviewers
don't know what they're talking about. Incidentally, nobody dares to talk against a Salman starrer because he will probably land up at the critic's doorstep."


Lashing out further, Ballary opines, "None of reviewers are qualified. I don't find any reviewer knows the art of cinema. Most of them get personal and none of them has any real knowledge of filmmaking. I'd
appreciate it if they comment on my direction. Instead they're getting personal. If they think I need to look into my craft, they should also do the same. I read international magazines and read reviewers
and I've spent so many years reading Cahiers du Cinema. I am not being arrogant. I've confidence in my craft."


Ballary feels critics are stuck on his first film. "I refuse to be typecast by the critics who have formed an opinion about me after Bheja Fry and are forcing me to conform to their perception of an
independent filmmaker. By the way, Bheja Fry also got only 1 star from some reviewers. Most reviewers don't know the difference between film and video."


Ballary feels critics need to be trained in the craft of film reviewing. "I'm a graduate in English literature. We had an entire paper dedicated to literary criticism. Sadly today for a great art like
filmmaking, we don't have trained critics."


He says he doesn't fear offending the critics with his opinion. "Am I going to raise a hornet's nest with my comments? It will just prove my point. If this is the end of my career as a filmmaker then I will
do farming. But I won't be cowed down by pseudo-intellectuals who write for self gratification."


Critics react


Rajeev Masand: "This is usually and unfortunately the defense of many filmmakers whose films have not been appreciated by critics. It sounds like a case of sour grapes to me. I've not known any
critic to accept monetary favours for writing a favourable review. My question to Mr. Ballary is, did you pay the critics to write favourable reviews for Bheja Fry? "


Shubha Saha: "Everyone who gets bad reviews for their films feels that way. Nothing special about it. Very few filmmakers can take criticism in the right spirit."


Raja Sen: "If critics need training to judge movies, then shouldn't we have minimal entry certification for filmmakers? Yes, there are some critics with a question mark against their names. But when
every critic rubbishes your film, the unanimity should give the filmmaker a clear enough hint. I haven't seen Mr. Ballary's new film. But he should move on instead of insisting all of us are lying."


Mayank Shekhar: "Are film critics are paid to write favourable reviews? Can only state in the negative for myself, and I don't read as many reviews as there are available on the web, print and
television to be able to tell for others. But it's a very serious charge. Someone making it must prove this. If found true, such rotten eggs must be exposed, a self-correcting media can do that. In over a
decade's experience in entertainment journalism as both editor and writer though, I have arrived at a conclusion that film reporters aren't really paid off. Given things they will do for free, they don't
need to be! Dominance of marketing and PR machinery in cultural reporting in recent years shouldn't be under-estimated. As for the quality of Indian film critics and training required

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