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EXCLUSIVE: “Quality of film reviewing has completely gone for a toss,” says Ranneeti screenwriter and former film critic Aniruddha Guha

en Bollywood News EXCLUSIVE: “Quality of film reviewing has completely gone for a toss,” says Ranneeti screenwriter and former film critic Aniruddha Guha

Aniruddha Guha cherishes the time when he was a film critic.

Aniruddha Guha is one of the screenwriters of Jio Cinema’s acclaimed show Ranneeti: Balakot & Beyond. He was a film critic for a number of years before switching over to screenwriting. Speaking exclusively with Bollywood Hungama, Guha looked back at his switch saying, “I feel I am blessed to have been able to merge two facets that I enjoy the most – writing and cinema. For me, of course, the medium is very different. But there has not much that much of a switch, to be honest with you. It has been very smooth.”

EXCLUSIVE: “Quality of film reviewing has completely gone for a toss,” says Ranneeti screenwriter and former film critic Aniruddha Guha

Guha cherishes the era in which he used to review films and he considers that phase to be important for Hindi cinema. “I think I was a film critic at a very good time in the movies from 2007 to 2016,” he said. “That was a time when people like Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee, Vishal Bhardwaj and Zoya Akhtar were just breaking out. These voices were sort of coming out and making interesting films.”

He added, “I also remember that there was a lot of weight given to reviews. Twitter had just broken out. There used to be so much chatter about cinema on Twitter. People would talk about it; disagree or agree. But there used to be a very healthy discussion. Twitter used to become a conversation starter. I feel there was a certain caliber of film critics who were operating at that point of time, whether it was Rajeev Masand, Baradwaj Rangan, of course he is still around, Shubhra Gupta, Namrata Joshi or Nandini Ramnath.”

Guha used to look forward to read their reviews even as a consumer. “All these film critics used to write on cinema. There used to be this genuine appreciation for what the other person’s point of view is. I would look forward to what the other guys were writing, do we differ to our point of view or critique, etc,” he said.

Guha is of the opinion that today the quality of film reviewing has “completely gone for a toss”. “And I am saying this not as somebody who has been a film critic in the past,” he said. “I am saying this as an audience member. As a consumer. Like where do I go? Whose reviews I should depend on? That I don’t find any more. So I have gone from there, who used to read reviews of films even before I became a film critic, to a guy who is only relying purely on word of mouth now. There is no faith in the word of the critic and that is kind of very sad because I feel critics have an important responsibility.”

It is generally believed that a review gets old after the day of the release or the first weekend. But Guha doesn’t believe so. “It even goes back 20 years later to see what they were saying about a certain film,” he said. “They are documented. You can go back and read reviews of Dev D, Luck By Chance, Rocket Singh: Salesman Of The Year, etc. You can see a film with different lenses in time. But unfortunately that’s not happening with movies of today. 25 years down the line, what are we going back to see?”

Also Read: EXCLUSIVE: “My approach for writing Ranneeti was not that of a hyper nationalistic and typical India-Pakistan story,” says Aniruddha Guha


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