About “Reviews”

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

The term “review” has come to cover many kinds of writing about a film.

At one end of the spectrum is writing that involves a plot summary and an assessment of the performances, production quality, music, direction, writing etc.This is the vanilla version that you are likely to get from most newspapers.

At the other end, the film itself is simply the launching point for someone to address their own baggage. I don’t mean this as a perjorative: we all carry baggage when we watch a film, and our experience is predicated upon what we bring into the movie theater with us. I am simply referring to articles which explicitly focus on a specific aspect of the film, and how it relates to the writer’s personal world-view or experiences. There’s no point in reading these before you watch the film.

I started off doing the former, but have gradually gravitated towards the latter. I no longer find myself checking my review to see if there is any major aspect of the film I have missed writing about. I might sometimes revisit a film to write more about something that struck me as significant, but didn’t seem organic to the narrative of my earlier blog post about the film.

In general, I wouldn’t recommend reading my blog posts in order to decide whether or not to watch the film. Think of this as a place to come to in order to discuss the film after you’ve seen it. If I haven’t written about the film yet, feel free to use the comments section in this page to tell me your thoughts.

That having been said, if it turns out that something I wrote about a film intrigued you enough to go watch it, you’re welcome.