You've chosen which film or television programme you will be reviewing. You've watched it, repeatedly, and made lots of notes. You've done your research. All that's left is to write your review!
Every review is different and there are no hard and fast rules about what should go into your review - otherwise every review of a film would be the same! However, there is a general structure that many good reviews follow:
Introduction / ideally this should prodive a “hook” to pull the reader in and some introductory content to set the scene for your review/basic info such as director, writer, stars, genre. Previous work to note? There should already be a sense of your evaluation of the film.
Synopsis / many readers may not have seen the film so this should be succinct without spoiling the viewing for others. Avoid spoilers at all costs!
Description / more detailed than the synopsis, this is more about *your* experience of watching the film and what stands out in particular. Use this to set up what will be your main analysis of the most significant elements. This step might be woven in with your synopsis and analysis.
Analysis / this is the main body of the review where you focus on the most significant elements of the film based on your consideration of formal techniques and thematic elements. The general rule of thumb for writing about film is to start with what is presented, then consider how it is presented, why is it presented in that way, then finally what is the effect of presenting it in that way. Aim to express three of four areas you think are most significant and use those areas to structure your analysis (e.g. one paragraph per area).
Conclusion / bring your analysis to a close. What is your overall impression of the film? Is there an overriding reason why viewers should watch/not watch it? You might want to also bring in how else the film has been reviewed/received or note any awards etc.
12 films about memory loss
Thinking about reviewing a film or TV programme about memory loss or amnesia for our Southampton Film Week writing competition? Here are some of our favourites. How many have you seen?