Film Review In The Digital Age

Film Review In The Digital Age

Film reviewers have a legitimate right to express their opinions, a tradition dating back to the inception of the film industry in India.

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Friday, October 27, 2023, 12:03 AM IST
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Film Review In The Digital Age | representational pic

In a precedent-setting move, the Ernakulam Central Police have taken legal action against seven YouTubers and two major social media platforms, Facebook and YouTube. This stemmed from a complaint filed by the director of the Malayalam movie Rahel Makan Kora (Rahel’s Son Kora). Under the guise of film reviews, these YouTubers allegedly utilised their freedom of expression to tarnish the film's reputation and castigate its actors and artists, all with the apparent intent of undermining the movie's credibility. The legal recourse taken by the police is not without context. The Kerala High Court had already shown its concern over similar cases by accepting a petition related to another film. The court sought guidance on the protocols that should govern such situations, prompting the police to act.

Film reviewers have a legitimate right to express their opinions, a tradition dating back to the inception of the film industry in India. However, this cherished freedom of expression should not come at the expense of the integrity of producers, directors, and the broader creative teams behind a film. The responsibility of reviewers is to critique, analyse, and, if necessary, criticise the cinematic work without resorting to character assassination. The question that emerges is the extent to which the principles of responsible journalism, long applicable to print media, should also extend to the ever-evolving landscape of social media platforms. This case highlights the urgent need for a balanced approach. Freedom of expression must be preserved and protected, but not to the detriment of individuals and entities facing unjust and damaging criticism. Striking this balance will not only protect the reputation of those involved in creative endeavours but also safeguard the credibility and trustworthiness of digital media platforms.

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