A film review is a popular way for critics to assess a film’s overall quality and determine whether or not they think the film is worth recommending. For this course, you are considering whether or not the film we watch covers the course material well enough that it should be recommended for people who want to learn about global health. While film reviews tend to be fairly short, they require a lot of preparation before you begin writing. For tips on how to prepare your review, click here.
Your review should be between 750-1200 words. You should summarize the film but make sure that your summary focuses the key points to your argument to recommend (or not to recommend) the film. The film summary should not give away the entire plot or story line rather it should be used for context and the main body of the film review should highlight key course concepts (e.g., health systems ) from the module and the overarching goal of global health (e.g., definition and characteristics of global health).
Although there is not a set formula to follow when writing a film review. The genre does have certain common elements that most film reviews include which our outlined below. The strongest film reviews will include some current data to characterize the global health problem being addressed by the film. This information should come from the course lectures and/or textbook. The current explanation of the global health problem could be included in the introduction. Throughout the analysis, and/or in the conclusion.
- Introduction – In the opening of your review, provide some basic information about the film and the global health problem being addressed.. You may include film’s name, year, director, screenwriter, and major actors or characters. Your introduction, which may be longer than one paragraph, should also begin to evaluate the film. And it should allude to the central concept of the review. A film review should contain a thesis or main claim. Or it could focus on a central point in your analysis and assessment.
- Plot Summary – Remember that many readers of film reviews have not yet seen the film. While you want to provide some plot summary, keep this brief and avoid specific details that would spoil the viewing for others. You may want to include this in the introduction or as a separate paragraph to open up into the analysis.
- Description – While the plot summary will give the reader a general sense of what the film is about, also include a more detailed description of your particular cinematic experience watching the film. This may include your personal impression of what the film looks, feels, and sounds like. In other words, what stands out in your mind when you think about this particular film? Again, you can include this in the introduction, with the plot summary or in another part of the review along with your analysis or in the conclusion.
- Analysis – In order to explain your impression of the film, consider how well the film utilizes formal techniques and thematic content. How do the film’s formal techniques (such as cinematography, editing, lighting, diegetic and sound, genre, or narrative) affect the way the film looks, feels, and sounds to you? How does the thematic content (such as health systems & global health) affect your experience and interpretation? Also, do the formal techniques work to forward the thematic content?
- Conclusion/Evaluation – The closing of your film review should remind the reader of your general thoughts and impressions of the film. You may also implicitly or explicitly state whether or not you recommend the film. Make sure to remind the reader of why the film is or is not worth seeing.