Of Critics And Being Critical

I am not a movie critic and I will never aspire to be one. Here’s why:

critic – a person who expresses an unfavorable opinion of something.

It’s almost as if the definition of a critic is someone who always has something negative to say about anything. I refuse to be that kind of person. Who would want to listen to a guy like that? I wouldn’t. Besides, the Bible is clear about how this happens:

It’s the same with people. A person full of goodness in his heart produces good things; a person with an evil reservoir in his heart pours out evil things. The heart overflows in the words a person speaks; your words reveal what’s within your heart. – Luke 6:45 VOICE

Yes, there might have been a few reviews that I did before that were critical. My sincerest apologies to those who made those films and to the people who support them. I was relatively a young reviewer then and I know better now. I realized that the point of doing a review is to highlight a film’s good points which should encourage readers to go see it in theaters. Unfortunately, that is not the case these days especially in the age of social media. You can type a sentence or two on Facebook and that can affect how other people perceive that which you are commenting on.

In DotA 2, a ‘critical strike’ means that the attacker has dealt a damaging blow by exploiting its victim’s weakness. While it is necessary to point out a movie’s flaws, a lot of times people bring the hammer of judgement down too hard. Some have valid arguments but, more often than not, people bash for the sake of bashing. It makes us feel good about ourselves – that we are better than others. Of course, there are times when we really need to address mistakes. I am not taking that away because it helps producers to improve the overall process of filmmaking. But we should really be careful about what we post online because words are powerful. As the wise King Solomon said,

Words have power in matters of life and death,
    and those who love them will savor their fruit. – Proverbs 18:21 VOICE

What should we do then? Should we do away with giving critiques altogether. Not at all! Instead, we should carefully scrutinize films because the way we receive them affects the future of movies. If there is a market for bad or even just lazy productions, then studios will make those kinds of features. This is why I love what they did in the recent Metro Manila Film Festival. It was the first time that I saw people bragging about how many entries they saw in movie houses. Blockbusters which lack good plot and storytelling were absent from their line-up so Filipino moviegoers were ‘forced’ to choose between quality pictures.

Going back to the topic at hand, we should be careful of what we write. Carelessly spewing a few words on the Internet can unleash torrents of negativity. Professional writers should not be the only ones to exhibit responsible journalism. Each and every one of us should be vigilant about this. It all starts in the mind. This attitude can only be attained by heeding the words of the Apostle Paul:

Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy. – Philippians 4:8 VOICE

Forgive me for the term but it is ‘critical’ that we follow his advice.


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