It seems like these days everyone wants to be a critique. From Facebook to Quora to Whatsapp Group Chats – everywhere, I see people giving in their critiques and reviews of books, movies, tv shows, that new bike in the showroom, the pet that popstar adopted, and everything under the sun.
Now, critique is a good thing, I should think. It helps people know what is worth a try, and what is not.
And also, apparently, it makes you look cool. Okay, let’s pretend I never said that.
This post is dedicated to the fact why I can never be a critique and the reason behind it.
I remember watching those news channels where they had this particular section where the host spent the hour reviewing and rating the recent movie releases. I followed the show for a few weeks, determined at the beginning to be a critique like the person on my tv screen. I took a ticket to a recent-release and suddenly remembered to try out the review thing.
Well, try I did; but failed miserably too.
Sure, I could come up with a point or two that could be improved in the movie, but the critique in me never rose. I do find some movies boring, but even in that boring movie, if you ask me to come up with sharp points as a critique would come up with, I’m a frozen artifact.
It’s not like I have not tried. I have, trust me. But either I complete the movie (or the book, or the tv show), or I just ditch it out after a few episodes/minutes/pages. So really, my entertainment is finely divided into two areas: stuff I can tolerate and stuff I cannot tolerate.
When it comes to stuff I can tolerate, it mingles up with stuff I like, and I get nothing bad to speak of it. And when it comes to stuff I cannot bring myself to try, I don’t find myself in a position to critique it because well, it is just plain boring to me. First: I cannot review something that I have not tried in its entirety. Second: If I found it boring to watch, I’d probably find it just as boring to write about.
Now coming to the incident which made me write this post. A few days back, I came across a question where somebody put a general poll about which book they hated to read the most and regretted it. Being a book-lover, instinctively, I paused and thought for a moment. Did I hate any book?
Well, I couldn’t come across any. How? I thought, there must be at least one book I hated. But then a realization hit me that if I completed a book, there was no way I could hate it. Because as stated above, if I finish something, it falls into the tolerable category.
It was a dead end. From The Last Song to Harry Potter to The Blaze – I’ve liked everything I read. Some probably more than the others, but all stood in my like-list nevertheless.
So I scrolled down further to see what people answered to the question – in curiosity to know what kind of books do people generally hate.
The first answer started something along the lines of:
My first reaction was: HOW CAN SOMEONE HATE A BOOK? NO! But then I walked to my shelf and was like, ‘definitely. there are unbearable books out there’.
There were some 6-7 books listed, out of which I had read 4-5 books, 1 was in my to-read list, and I had not heard of the existence of the last one. And well, as you might have guessed, I kind of, yes, liked those 4-5 books.
And they were slammed by the person pretty badly.
I’m not lying when I say that my heart went out for those books. People have opinions. And I have feelings, for a book, more than anything else.
So, I restricted myself from reading any further answers to the question and turned off my data connection.
So there you go – it now feels horrible to imagine that I wished to be a critique back in the day. The truth is, I do not only fail to be a critique, but also fail to hear one. Albeit I am not one of those who will cut through anyone’s speech of review, but I’d prefer not to hear the put-down of people’s work if I have a choice not to.
This is just how things work in my brain – I can never really dislike or disregard any piece of art and effort a person puts in it. I sure compare it with others of its kind, but I have never really come to the point where I am able to say that I hate a particular movie, or tv show, or book, or, you know, the popstar’s new pet.
Although, fictional characters are a different thing altogether (Joffrey Baratheon, President Snow and Umbridge, I’m talking to you: I despise you).