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Professional Film Reviews Different From Motivated Bad Film Reviews : Kerala High Court

The Kerala High Court has issued a directive to the State Police Chief regarding the differentiation between professional film reviews and motivated, bad reviews that aim to harm a film’s success. This move comes in response to concerns raised by the film industry regarding the impact of malicious reviews on their work

Justice Devan Ramachandran emphasized the importance of distinguishing between a professional review of a product, such as a movie, and a personal opinion about the same.

The court’s clarification follows a previous inquiry made to the Police Chief about actions taken against individuals publishing motivated and calculated reviews with the intent to denigrate, extort, or blackmail filmmakers.

The Court has sought input from the State Police Chief on how individuals associated with a movie can file complaints against activities aimed at tarnishing a film, leading to a proper investigation. The court wanted to understand the legal consequences, both under penal law and cyber laws.

The senior government advocate informed the Court that plans to control motivated reviews are being developed, but they require consultations with industry stakeholders, including producers, directors, financiers, and petitioners.

The senior government advocate suggested that the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) should ensure the effective implementation of principles for controlling online reviews.

The Honorable Court agreed that this would take time, as it is intended to address illegal tendencies in the future.

The court scheduled further consideration in two weeks.

This inquiry was made in response to a plea filed by Mubeen Rauf, the director of ‘Aromalinte Adyathe Pranayam,’ who sought a gag order to prevent social media influencers and film reviewing vloggers from publishing reviews of the film for at least seven days after its release.

This development marks an important step in addressing the challenges posed by malicious and motivated reviews in the film industry.

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