Cash or Kind?

My Name is Khan (MNIK) got unbelievable review ratings across websites. 4.5, 5, 5, 4.5, 5 went all the sites with the critic going overboard to commend the film for it 's "shameless tugs at your heartstrings", "awesome performance", "multi-layered story" and "stupendous clap by the clap-boy at the muhurat scene" (well almost). No issues with the positive reviews and even more positive ratings...till you watch the movie that is.

After you watch MNIK and then see the critics going gaga over it as if the movie was the next best thing to water for the Indians and toilet paper for the rest of the world...that's when you feel that something is terribly wrong. "That is just not right", you say. Ok, so the views of the critics are their own but are they being honest? The first thing that comes to my mind after reading and then watching MNIK (or vice versa) is the movie "American Sweethearts". Yup! It’s "Paid Reviews".

Some or most of the recent movie reviews get real gray and it gets hard to tell where the editorial line starts and stops. It’s not about a movie being good or bad that bothers me. It’s contorting the facts by the people who matter, for remuneration that I have issues with. It’s the ethics part of it that needs to be discussed with seriousness. Paid reviews are not new; they are always happening when products and services come into picture. When I mean "Products", I am including people as well; actors are products and their acting is a service.

Paid reviews cannot be stopped but duping the audience can be. What if the movie critic of xyxtimes disclosed that he/she has been paid by the producers to commend the movie? Who would believe them then? None! So disclosure would not help as people would stop reading the reviews altogether. The idea is to be totally honest and keep these so-called critics above money or kind. But since neither is possible, we have to live with paid review and crappy movie combo till people shun both of them for good.


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