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Secrets of Writing a Critical Review of a Documentary Film

Writing a quality review of any film is difficult, but documentary films are special. They need more attention to details because the main question is “Is it a real documentary film or just an imagination of film director.” That’s why it will take more time to go through all steps of writing to make a review really professional and useful.

Read About the Plot of the Movie

First of all, you should do in-depth research about the plot of the documentary movie you are planning to write a review for. Common historical facts of the age of the movie, real characters of that movie (maybe even biography of main characters), official opinions about the plot of the movie and about the movie itself, political beliefs of the screenwriter and the producer. The reason for all this job is to be prepared and aware of what will be going on on the screen for own conclusion if you can name this film documentary. All other kinds of films don’t require so deep investigations.

Watch the Movie

Sure, the next step will be watching the movie. The best quantity for watching a documentary movie is three times. The first time is for receiving a general impression, meeting characters, catching storyline and the most important parts of all film. The second time is for making notes, which will help with writing a review. These notes should describe the episodes of the movie but not your opinion about it. And third time will be after you write your review. This is an important step and we’ll explain why. For writing, you gather information from three sources: research before watching, notes made during watching, conclusions and your thoughts after watching. It is possible that after putting together all these stages and doing a huge job you will write an essay paper, or an article, but not a review. You will write a review not about the film itself but about an independent historical fact, which is described. To be sure that you wrote a correct critical review you should compare your job after writing with the film and the only way of doing this is our third time watching.

Answer the Next Questions In Your Review

During watching the film there are some common questions which will help you to make your review full and interesting to read. But answering them you should remember the most important question: whether all of that shows real facts or not.

So find out if you like a film or not. What is the main idea of the film? Should you have special knowledge before watching or everything was explained? What part caught your attention most? Did actors show the atmosphere of the event? How can you use the conclusions in your life? Is the plot of the movie important nowadays. How it would change the situation if characters behave differently.  Whom of your friends and family you can recommend the film and why. Sure while writing you can’t forget about special effects, work of cameraman, costumes and decorations.

Make a Conclusion

Mail The main part of your critical review answers all questions above, your awareness of film in general and sources about the plot out of the film. But the most important part of this kind of review is the conclusion. There you can finally show your own opinion about the film and the problem described there. It shows how deep you know the subject, how easy you can compare real facts with documentary film. Your thoughts must be stated logically and clearly. Use summaries. Don’t try to write such a review in one day. That won’t be enough for three times watching, making notes and writing review itself. Also, you can try to find a historian to communicate about the movie and situations it describes with true facts.

Anyway, writing of a critical review of the documentary film is really exciting, you will find out much more knowledge than just a story of people on the screen, you will find out the real world with real happenings and real fates.

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One Comment

  1. This is very explanatory. Thanks a lot!

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