FILM REVIEWS: THE STANDARD FORMAT

HOW TO SEND ME A REVIEW...


Generally, the formula for most film reviews goes something like this:


A) Intro + the reviewer's bottom line

       In the Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi review linked to below (which you should read if you want to submit a review yourself), this comes at the end of the first paragraph: "Kajol's immense talent cannot survive such an ill-advised script."

B) A brief summary of the plot

       Generally positive reviews do NOT include as much information as given in negative reviews, since they assume the viewer will actually see the film. Positive reviews summarize to the point where a pivotal question is asked -- e.g., in a Kuch Kuch Hota Hai review, "Young Anjali sets out on the daunting task of reuniting her father with his true love." From this point on, the viewer wants to find out everything for herself.
       Negative reviews have more leeway in regards to discussing the plot, but no matter how bad the film is, readers will resent it if you spoil all the plot twists. They'll make a point of avoiding your reviews in the future.
      Plot summary usually takes anywhere from two to three paragraphs. The sample reviews here are a bit longer because they are designed for newspapers, but people really don't like to read very much on the internet...thus I myself should probably move on to the next point.

C) Highlights and lowlights of the film
       Now you've set up the scene so the reader can follow along with your discussion of the best and worst points of the film. Because we're writing about Bollywood, this can and should include dance scenes, music, costuming, etc.. After all, that's a big part of why we watch BW films, no?
       Usually this takes up about two paragraphs -- one for acting and story, and one for all the other elements (direction, dialogue, dance, etc.). Try to make your conclusion snappy and witty.
       And whatever you write, please refrain from making comments on an actress's weight.   Despite what a bunch of review sites seem to think, weight has no relevance to whether a film is worth seeing or not.

Please check out the reviews themselves for more ideas.

*  When you send a review to me, you'll only be sending the writing and the GRADE you gave the film (from an A to an F). I'll do the layout as shown in the sample reviews.

* The subject heading of the e-mail should read: REVIEW [FILM NAME]. Send it to the regular address, bollywhat@bollywhat.com. Please DON'T send it as an attachment -- I can't open those! Just copy the review into the body of the e-mail.

* The following information should be included at the top of the e-mail:
     1) film title and year of release;
       2) producer
       3) director
       4) actors (leads only)
       5) composer/musician
       6) lyricist
       7) links to stills, if possible

* If it's your first time contributing, include an autobiography explaining who you are, how you got into Bollywood, etc., and what your top ten lists are for both films & soundtracks. I'll be making a page for each of you; that way a visitor can check out your likes and dislikes and see if they match his or hers. Also, as you can tell from the forum, people who visit this site are interested in how everyone started watching these films. who their favorite actors and actresses are, etc.! Here's your chance to let them know. I'd also like to include an e-mail link to you at the bottom of your reviews so people can let you know what they think.

* I reserve the right to edit your grammar! Hope I won't have to -- and that if I do, you won't mind. And thanks for writing -- it's truly a privilege to receive your reviews!

 

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