Monday 16 January 2017

Criticising Something You Love

There is at least one thing that all of us completely love, whether it’s a book, a film, a TV show etc. There’s always some sort of creativity to consume, and one that we end up feeling passionate about. When you’re not very attached to something and can view it objectively, you may criticize it and spot its weaknesses, but when you have a strong attachment to or love for something, I feel that that is heightened.

For me, this is most prevalent with the Harry Potter franchise.

I grew up with Harry Potter; my parents would read me the books before I went to bed from when I was very small, they bought me the audiobooks for birthdays and Christmases as they were being released, I still have loads of merchandise that has been collected over the years. I know it sounds ridiculous to some, but I genuinely believe that Harry Potter has made me who I am today, well, for the most part. I am an avid reader, anyone who knows me knows that. I also have a huge love for writing – it’s craft and the shape of words and stories. Those are some of the parts of my character that I believe are one of the most important and that have been aided and allowed to grow by the involvement of Harry Potter in my life.

So, it’s safe to say that I was overly excited about the release of the Cursed Child. I say overly, because I really do not think it was worth the hype. At least, not based on the script anyway. I’m sure it would be much better on stage as some of the effects described in the script seem to be mind-blowing and I have no idea how they do that without special effects! Don't get me wrong, I still desperately want to see it on stage. However, I thought the plot was very weak and some of the characters I love were portrayed in a bad way and characterized badly. To me, it felt like a badly written fanfiction, although I know some people disagree.

I was talking to a friend in one of my classes the other week, and she was saying how you should be looking for good things in something you love, rather than its faults – but I can’t help but disagree. If you love something and something else is released,

To me, finding flaws in things you love is so important, but as a creative person, it is crucial. Many of my friends are creative; we’re writers, actors, poets, film makers, artists, photographers and work with textiles. As long as we want to better ourselves in our craft, we have to continue to see flaws in every piece of art we see, and to learn from those other creators’ mistakes and use them for our own creative growth.

But it’s also good to recognise that no piece of art is perfect – never will be, in my opinion. Finding faults in favourites is something that, I think, demonstrates affection. When it’s in a critiquing sort of way, at least. We’ve all come out of the cinema, having seen a disaster of a film and discussed its many faults with little enthusiasm or ever wanting to see it again. And I think we’ve all walked out of the cinema enthusiastically discussing a film we loved – its many qualities, but also of the things you didn’t like, or thought could have been improved. Interest in the recognition of a favourite piece of art’s faults is healthy. So don’t put anyone down for, while loving something, pointing out its imperfections but allow them to love it in spite of them.

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