Like a wounded lion, Ram Gopal Varma has hit back at all the big film critics of India who have torn his latest release Agyaat to pieces. To be fair Ramu is somewhere right in his outburst when he says â€“ â€œGoing by most of the reviews AGYAAT seems to be the worst film ever made since the invention of camera.â€
Taking on first, Mumbai Mirrorâ€™s film critic Minty Tejpal whom Ramu mockingly addresses as Peppermint Tejpal, Ramu pens his thoughts on his blog, â€œSome Peppermint Tejpal wrote a review in Mumbai Mirror, that is if it can be called a review, posing as if he is the world expert on cinema. If the only qualification of a reviewer is to just have an opinion then I would really like to know the process of a paper choosing and employing a reviewer out of millions of opinion makers. If itâ€™s not about his opinion and itâ€™s about expertise then what is peppermintâ€™s expertise. It would be nothing but him being in love with himself the way he can rip apart a film much more than even his actual hatred for the film. So a Mayank Shekar leaves for a higher salary or some other reason and they fill his space with peppermint who nobody knows and after the reviews of 2 or 3 films he becomes as popular primarily because of the brand of the newspaper and the more nastier he becomes the more popular he becomes because instinctively this breed of reviewers understand this from the popularity of their predecessor Khalid Mohammed..â€
Then moving to his favourite nemesis, veteran film critic Khalid Mohammed, he lets many murky secrets out of the bag regarding Khalid. Ramu bluntly says, â€œTwenty years ago Khalid wrote a review of my first film â€œSHIVAâ€ calling it a piece of junk which is considered to be a cult film by most today. And believe it or not the same Khalid referred to it as a cult classic in a certain context of a review he wrote for some other film 10 years later. So does his mind work 10 years slower? After being kicked out and down the ladder from TOI to Mid-day to DNA, to HT to Asian Age, I hear that he writes for some obscure website which I doubt even 5 people will read. Also I hear some horrifying news that he is making another film and that news I think is more horrifying than any horrifying film I ever made. To fund him after those 3 or 4 fantastic masterpieces he made, his investors have to be one hundred time dumber than any of my investors.â€
Ramu has not left the female reviewers either. He further adds, â€œAlso I have no problem in getting one star from sweetie cutie Anupama who thinks â€œEklavyaâ€ is a classic and the lesser said about the Buffalo Bumzai the better. (I have gone this personal taking a leaf from them). I canâ€™t get over the glee in Bumzaiâ€™s eyes when she is ripping a film. But I feel also that the psychology of these critics pales in comparison in negativisim to the psychological aspect behind the point of criticism by itself.â€
Ramu feels, â€œThe purpose of a review could be to warn a viewer of how a film is and probably to prepare a mindset. But does anybody believe that this alone would be the intention of any of the reviewers. Eventually a film is a commercial product in a consumer market sheerly because so much money and so many peopleâ€™s efforts, careers and businesses are linked with it. A car manufacturer comes out with a new model, itâ€™s fair enough that some relevant expert can give his views on the carâ€™s good and bad points to an ignorant customer. But he cannot go on a trip of a personal attack on the manufacturer and to having his presumptions on the intent of manufacturing the car.
So why is this discrimination against the cinema industry alone? Every other product put out there in the market gets a chance to be judged by the consumer directly whether he likes it or not, whereas only in the film industryâ€™s case its products are constantly judged, ridiculed, made fun of, misinterpreted in the eyes of the people by using the platforms of mass mediums like newspapers and television channels.
It is not realized by many that hundreds of people and their families livelihoods are dependent upon a films run. To indiscriminately run down a film in a glee to hit at the maker will result in lot more hurt to many other people associated with the film in various others ways namely the actors, technicians, distributors, exhibitors etc who primarily have no way of controlling how a film will shape up but yet will bear the brunt of its failure in many cases much more than the maker.â€
â€œAlso I respect a media enterprise for the intention of its creation and as a system in whole. But I would like to ask them to question themselves if the likes of peppermint are really worthy of representing their system.â€ Ramu concludes.