This is my second write-up related to film criticism in big, bad B-town. If a film critic doesn’t write about his/her own craft, or the topsy-turvy life associated with it, what’s the point? It’s a fascinating life, mind you, especially in the city of Mumbai – the melting pot for everything film, TV, writing, acting and entertainment. Come Tuesday, usually the next three days are dedicated to hobnobbing across various screening venues – big and small – repeatedly checking emails and texts to see if the PR folks have informed you about the press show, and then checking with fellow critics if there’s any information about the smaller films.
As a reviewer in the city since 2011, I’ve had the privilege of getting familiar with the holy bunch of screening venues for preview shows across the city. Most of them are based in the Western suburbs – a far cry from the regular screenings at Mahalakshmi and Bandra in the late 90s. There were some at Film City and in Dadar too, but I can’t really speak of them because I was around 10 years old when some of the senior critics began reviewing Hindi movies here. The one thing I can say for sure is that Mumbai has a spirited bunch of critics, some of who come from the far flung suburbs of Mulund and Vashi to watch a movie or two – and then suffer the ignominy of eating the same popcorn and samosas if these screenings are held in boring multiplex malls.