Do you care what critics say about novel-adapted films and TV shows? | The Tylt
Do you care what critics say about novel-adapted films and TV shows?
Anne Wollenberg of The Guardian broke down exactly what critics should look for when criticizing novel-adapted films. They should be sensitive and keep their audience in mind.
But critics can't ignore those who have read and loved the original novel or short story, because those readers are attached to the content and characters. It's not just any old horse, but one they know and like. That attachment potentially makes them a perfect target audience, but a critical one: they want advance warning of potential disappointment or annoyance. And while a good adaptation can lead more people to pick up a book, a bad one may discourage them from bothering.
She gives critics step-by-step instructions on how to handle their audience and the fix isn't an easy feat.
It seems there's only one solution. We need two reviews of each adaptation: one that reviews it as an adaptation, one that simply appraises the film as a film. This, of course, raises more questions, particularly that of how much the critic who writes the first review needs to have liked the book. Their job, after all, wouldn't be to simply report on how faithful the film is, but on whether it meets expectations. The second reviewer would have no expectations. Not so much help to those expecting fidelity, then, but they would certainly have the easier job.
Ronald Bergan of The Guardian says film critics have no future.
Few people would deny that film reviewing is in crisis. One hears the wailing and gnashing of teeth everywhere in the English-speaking world. Panel after panel, discussing "the Future of Film Criticism", has come to the conclusion that there isn't one.
He then goes on to say critics have their priorities out of order and at times critique the wrong aspect of the film.
Most reviews are starstruck and anecdotal, the writers being more comfortable with narrative than narratology. The worse a film the better they like it, because it's easier to be amusing at the expense of a bad film than to explain the ineffable qualities of a great one. Although film is, above all, a visual medium, they seldom tell you what a film looks like unless it contains special effects. Neither do we get any analysis – even on a superficial level – of the style or grammar of the film.