Why I Write Movie Reviews

I don’t like doing things without a point. Really, that’s all there is to it. I have a need to sum up every action neatly – so if I’m going to take the time to find a copy of a movie I want to watch, and if I’m going to spend around two hours watching it, then my mind won’t be at peace until I’ve properly reflected on what I thought of the film. Movies and books have the same effect on me: Even for just a moment, they make me step into a life I know I will never have in this universe. And because, for my own sake, I like preserving my several lifetimes in a virtual collection of memories, I write movie reviews. I post them in as orderly a way as I can – so that when I’m old and graying, and even less capable of navigating the Internet than I am today, I’ll be able to relive that moment when I was Fräulein Maria or Will Thacker. And then I’ll feel as though I’ve lived a thousand various lifetimes again.

My roommate L encourages me to write reviews semi-professionally, but I’m hesitant about the idea. In the first place, I have no background in film criticism and my understanding of literary theory is very basic – to the point that friends have scoffed at my ignorance to my face. I write reviews and grade films based on how they appealed to me when I watched them. Would I recommend this movie to a stranger from Botswana? Would people other than me be able to relate to its themes? Aside from these concerns, I don’t think much about who gets to read my reviews – although there are times when I hope that the people who made these films get to read what I think about them, because that might give their future work more perspective. Is it wrong to write these reviews primarily for myself? I wouldn’t know. I’m not sure how I’d be able to write differently anyway.

The plan for my life is very rigid, and none of my Excel sheets indicate a necessity to take my movie reviewing – or my blogging, for that matter – to a higher level. By this I mean that I don’t feel motivated to take film theory or production classes to add more layers to what I do. I’m happy writing from the perspective of an ordinary film viewer. If there should be instances when other ordinary film viewers would wander into this blog to read about the random reviews I’ve written, that would make me happy. I’d love to hear what they think about whatever I’d been talking about. But in this vast ocean of digital information, I think of myself as just one more lurker who quietly hopes but doesn’t expect to be noticed. Maybe my thoughts will make their way to the production companies to let them know what their viewers want, or maybe they won’t. Either way, I’m going to write about what I think about Enrique Gil’s singing and Matsumoto Jun’s inability to cry. Life is too short to keep constructive criticism to oneself.

So maybe that’s another reason I write movie reviews: It’s a way for me to politely and cerebrally project all my pent-up frustrations in life.


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