We all enjoy watching films and we have all given a review of a film – in most cases informally between a group of friends, as we recommend a film or dissuade someone from going to see the film.
A formal film review however, requires more structure and some important guidelines need to be adhered to in order to formulate an effective film review.
Before you begin writing your review it is important to establish from the outset that your film review should not be a summary of the plot. As the writer of the review, you must make your opinion of the film clear and you should always ensure that all your views are substantiated and well motivated. [It is acceptable, and in fact quite common, to both praise and criticize a film in the same review.]
The following guidelines will assist you to write a review with finesse as you address the fundamental key elements:
Brief reference and description of the main characters – introduce your reader to the main characters and include a catchy one-liner about each character.
Outline the stars of the film – you may want to refer to any Oscar winning accolades of other noteworthy recognition that the stars may have received. “Star appeal” tends to lend “credibility” to the film.
Discuss the genre of the film – identify the main genres that are evident throughout the film. Most films are a combination of a few genres. [fantasy, romance, thriller, sci-fi, historical epic, horror, docudrama or a adventure]
Entertainment value or money ill spent – your film review should include your opinion on the entertainment and enjoyment value of the film, or conversely your views if you feel that the film was not enjoyable. [you may want to include comments here on the emotions and feelings that the film evoked]
Comment on the acting – formulate an opinion on the acting portrayed, whether t was realistic and effective as it relates to the genre and purpose of the film.
Costumes, special effects and computer graphics – comments on exceptional costume or set design and any notable special effects and computer graphics. Remember to include your views as to whether they enhance the film or detract from the film.
Mission accomplished – the directors envisioned a purpose that they hoped to portray to the viewers. Did they aim to educate, entertain or inform the audience [or a combination of the fore mentioned]. Consider whether the film achieved what it set out to do and comment accordingly.
Age restriction and rating – suggest a suitable age restriction and comment if relevant on any gratuitous violence, bad language or promiscuity.
Film review in a nutshell – comment forthrightly on the fundamentals of the film. Say it “write”…avoid fawning and flattery and frame your content to incorporate the structures outlined above.
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