Sagar Ballary lashes at critics, they react strongly

Oct 19, 2011 Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Oct 19 (IANS) Director Sagar Ballary has openly attacked film critics after the unflattering reviews of his latest venture "Hum Tum Aur Shabana". Some of the reviewers reacted strongly against his tongue lashing.

"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," Ballary asked.

"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," he lashed.

The filmmaker said none of the reviewers know the art of cinema.

"Most of them get personal and none of them has any real knowledge of filmmaking. I'd appreciate if they comment on my direction. Instead they're getting personal... I've confidence in my craft," he said.

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'."

He feels critics need to be trained in the craft of film reviewing. "Sadly today for a great art like filmmaking, we don't have trained critics."

The critics reacted to the filmmaker's tirade.

Rajiv Masand said: "This is usually and unfortunately the defence 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 Ballary is, did you pay the critics to write favourable reviews for 'Bheja Fry'?"

Said 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 said: "If critics need training to judge movies, then shouldn't we have minimal entry certification for filmmakers? ... When every critic rubbishes your film, the unanimity should give the filmmaker a clear enough hint."

Said Mayank Shekhar: "Are film critics 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.

"It's richly ironic that a complaint on quality should come from a director whose only successful work (Bheja Fry) is a rip-off of a French movie, which still worked because of the everyman hero (Vinay Pathak) putting his soul into that lead role."

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