Should critics withhold their reviews on films to support the industry?



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Should critics withhold their reviews on films to support the declining Pakistani media industry? Recently, film and TV actor and host Fahad Mustafa, sparked debate over social media, by posting a request ‘for all the bloggers’. He requested, they withhold their reviews on the recent film release ‘Khel Khel Main’, until people can go and watch the movie themselves- in order to support the declining Pakistani film industry.

“With all due respect, let people go and watch the movie first, your reviews can wait”, wrote the Jeeto Pakistan host. He further added that film reviews at this stage can ‘damage the film big time’ and won’t help the industry in any way.


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This opinion raised conflicting opinions regarding critics, their functionality and their relevance, particularly in the Pakistani media industry today. And here’s our take on the debate.

To start off, a film release necessarily involves a detailed process and all kinds of journalists- media critics and “bloggers”, along with their opinions- in the very initial stages of a film release- play a crucial role in winning an audience for the film. If the end goal was to request bloggers and media critics to hold up on their reviews, then:

1. Why invite film and media critics to movie premiers BEFORE the official film release?

Every time a movie is released, one day before the official release, a movie premier is held where the production is shown for the first time. Typically the cast and production members, and other important members of the entertainment industry are invited to these premiers. Typically, film and media critics play a very important role at these premiers, as their opinion on the film and their ratings help win over a large  audience to theatres.

2. Why hold press previews and film promotion inviting film and media critics?
A press preview is “​an occasion at which you can see a film, a show, etc. BEFORE it is shown to the general public”, held particularly for journalists- including all kinds of ‘bloggers’ and ‘critics’. Moreover, film promotions generally include “advertising campaigns, merchandising, franchising, press releases, media and interviews with the key people involved with the making of the film, like actors and directors”, and media and film critics and their opinions at these events play an important role in getting the word out, about the film, to a large audience, convincing them to come out to theatres and watch the film- pushing up ratings of the film or vice versa. Therefore, it is a bit more complicated than just requesting critics to hold up on their reviews!


In the words of Aamna Haider Isani, a renowned Pakistani media critic, who took to Twitter to express her take on the matter:

3. “Good content” is the only thing that will save the industry!

We agree with Aamna Isani on this one.

With that said, we leave the matter in the hands of the final word: you- the audience. Share your verdict on the issue in the comments below!