When Tamil Talkies posted their video review of Ajith Kumar’s Vivegam, they were prepared for a backlash from the actor’s fans. But they were in for a surprise.
In the 10-minute video, film critic Elamaran alias Maran (popularly known as Blue Sattai), says that he got a call from an Ajith fan, asking him to be kind in his review. That was perhaps where they feared the onslaught would come from.
As expected, they received a lot of negative criticism. Surprisingly enough, it came from the film fraternity, and was not just limited to Ajith’s fans.
SD Vijay Milton, director of films like Kadugu, 10 Endrathukulla, released a video in which he condemned the reviewer
— sd.vijay milton (@vijaymilton) August 25, 2017
Directors Arun Vaidyanathan, Thiru and Vivegam’s editor Antony L Ruben too slammed the reviewer, and said that he was not a credible person to judge films.
A film review that comes across as a personal attack on an actor, director, or screenwriter or a diatribe about a genre is a failed review.
— Thiru (@dir_thiru) August 26, 2017
It is not a review but a paid assassination or maybe one as he was not paid. https://t.co/28dBuc54c3
— Mohan Raman (@actormohanraman) August 26, 2017
— Editor Ruben (@AntonyLRuben) August 26, 2017
There was a lot of social media trolling as well.
— S T R A N G 3 R ☯ (@HungryHeartt49) August 26, 2017
All come to this Group lets Rape bluesattai https://t.co/ssN4oa0LV0
— Ajith ☜☆☞ Appu (@nazrudheenappu) August 25, 2017
This is not the first time that the film community has reacted adversely to critics. Chennai 60028 2 director Venkat Prabhu made fun of online reviewers in his film recently, and won a lot of public support for the move as well.
The general perception is that these online reviewers make their review segments as controversial as possible, in a bid to get more views and attention. Lack of any sort of policing or rules also enables them to an extent.
Ponvannan, vice-president of Nadigar Sangam, believes that such reviews don’t take into account the immense hard work that the team puts into the project. “It becomes easier for random men and women to trash a film because they truly don’t know the hard work and pain that goes into the creation. There’s a certain distance between the product we make and the product you see, and that distance makes it easier for such negative reviews.”
The Tamil Film Producers’ Council (TFPC) is considering various moves to make sure that there is some measure of control over how films are reviewed. While this can likely be seen as a move to block and curtail freedom of the press, but Ponvannan feels that there is no other way. “They write trash, reveal suspense scenes a day ahead of the film. They watch overseas and put out reviews before the film releases here. That causes a big dent in a film’s box office earnings and negatively impacts the film’s word-of-mouth.”
Vijay Milton, too, wants reviewers to be more sensitive when they write about films. “I made the video because it is high time we address this issue. Writers should make sure they churn out responsible, sensible writing. When they don’t, there must be someone to hold them accountable. It is because nobody is there to supervise that such reviewers have become popular.”
The Vivegam team has not commented on the issue so far.
Image Courtesy: Tamil Talkies YouTube Channel