The Kashmir Files had only been on the screen for a few days but it had already taken the audience by storm, or so the IMDb ratings claimed.
Before we saw the clips of people reacting to the plight of Kashmiri Pandits upon seeing the film, it had a 10/10 rating on a popular website that gathers cinema and television audience reviews.
However, the film starring Mithun Chakraborty and Anupam Kher witnessed a sharp drop in its reviews, and it now has an 8.3/10 rating.
In fact, the film’s IMDb website includes a note that reads, “Our rating mechanism has detected unusual voting activity on this title. To preserve the reliability of our rating system, an alternate weighting calculation has been applied”.
Meanwhile, a Twitter user provided a detailed explanation of the alleged ‘manipulated’ film ratings on the website in a series of tweets. And this thread might be able to clear up all of the viewers’ doubts.
Rejoicing an Indian film winning IMDB’s GOAT rating?— joyojeet pal (@joyopal) March 13, 2022
As someone who studies these things, we only won the population war.
You can go watch Kashmir Files to confirm if it is the greatest film ever, or I can explain with data, if that does anything for you, why @IMDB is broken pic.twitter.com/4F2l49INhX
The social media user, who goes by the name Joyojeet Pal, said that the perfect rating places the film well ahead of every iconic film ever made, such as The Dark Knight and The Godfather.
Kashmir Files has a near total top end rating. Films don’t get rated as magnificent universally. Usually there is a spread of people who love, hate, and most importantly, have moderate opinions.— joyojeet pal (@joyopal) March 13, 2022
See for instance comparison with Godfather and Dark Night, high rated films on IMDB pic.twitter.com/iIXhyMveNp
He further said that, as a result of this rating, Indian filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri joins the ranks of great directors such as Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, and Martin Scorcese.
This places it well above every Indian film ever made. This also puts Vivek Agnihotri in the category of Coppola, Spielberg, Tarantino, Scorcese, Kurosawa among others whose films hit that note.— joyojeet pal (@joyopal) March 13, 2022
In subsequent tweets, the Twitter user analyses the reason for the tampering of the ratings and how it affects the website’s credibility.
There is precedence to this. Any film with Deepika Padukone, Swara Bhaskar, Alia Bhatt and a range of others not obsequious to, or with last names not preferred by the current political dispensation will have their films aggressively rated down on IMDB.— joyojeet pal (@joyopal) March 13, 2022
The win of Kashmir Files on IMDB is a great case study of misinformation, in technical terms ‘astroturfing’ or a flood of activity presenting as reality something is the narrative of a small but very loud minority.— joyojeet pal (@joyopal) March 13, 2022
He claimed that in the past, several South actors in Tamil and Telugu cinema have benefited from similar ‘fans clubs and PR’ to boost their film’s rating.
This is not the first film to do this. South superstars in Tamil & Telugu cinema routinely benefit from fans clubs and PR systematically beefing up the ratings of their stars’ films. This is arguably also true for fan activity driven ratings of media anywhere in the world— joyojeet pal (@joyopal) March 13, 2022
On the other hand, he advised those who rely on IMDb ratings to look at the “top 1000 voters” segment of the rating section for more insight.
If you MUST rely on IMDB, look at the “top 1000 voters” under the ratings section. This is almost always much lower than the general public rating.— joyojeet pal (@joyopal) March 13, 2022
The score, as well as the number of top 1000 who chose to watch the film matters.
Here is the rating for Asuran, a solid watch. pic.twitter.com/Mv2MvK6Hzf
To further elaborate, the user also shared a simple guide to assessing a film before investing your time and putting your money on the tickets.
If a film crosses 4/10 on the IMDB top 1000, its probably worth a shot.— joyojeet pal (@joyopal) March 13, 2022
Over 5/10, probably very worth watching.
Over 6/10, it is a fantastic film.
This rating system unduly prefers drama over comedy/masala, though even the best among Satyajit Ray’s films barely cross 7/10
Later, speaking of The Kashmir Files, which evoked this conversation around IMDb ratings, he stated that the film has a top 1000 voter rating of 1/10 on IMBD, but it has a 10 on 10-star rating on the platform.
Now back to Kashmir Files, its top 1000 voter rating on @imdb is…… 1/10. The lowest rating possible.— joyojeet pal (@joyopal) March 13, 2022
This in a nutshell is how the information environment, especially around major products with wide consumer uptake, is verifiably muddy in India. pic.twitter.com/wp5NDVU0Ea
And here’s how fellow Twitter users reacted to the thread:
Useful thread if you use IMDB ratings to decide whether to watch a film/ show or not. https://t.co/ck6WpfN4kD— Varghese Rosh Pyyampallil (@pyyampallil) March 15, 2022
I’m shocked too about 10/10 score but your thread is an analysis with glaring loopholes and convenient assumptions.— Utkarsh Gupta (@guptautkarsh5) March 13, 2022
Nevertheless, the movie is based on an ugly truth and hence should be watched.
The ratings will need about a week to settle. Besides, chances are a majority of the too 250 or top 1000 accounts are owned by the PR firms who regularly rate movies. If they are not paid to promote a movie and it does well organically, they may try to put it down.— That Nerdy Guy (@thatnerdyguy_) March 13, 2022
I stopped citing them in my research papers at least 5 years ago. Their information has become unreliable & there are better sources to tell you who the screenwriter etc are.— The Official Account for Diana Schooling (@SchoolingDiana) March 14, 2022
Very well put.. certainly highlights the rating rigging system .IMDb should focus on improving the metrics..I will definitely look for top 1000 rating now on .— Love Abhishek Singh (@loveabhisingh) March 13, 2022
Truth can be such a hard pill to swallow.— Guru (@DontPayTemples) March 13, 2022
In short, don’t rely on IMDB ratings for any Indian movie/ web series— Kevotic (@k3v1nkn0w5) March 14, 2022
It’s biased af https://t.co/s3Tx11ecro
His arguement is flawed.— MyThoughts (@MyviewsonIndia) March 13, 2022
Kashmir files is not a big production house film its more of an Independent film, and lack any flamboyant actors.
It lacks all the factors he quoted why IMDB rating will be high.
So @joyopal digest the fact.
Wow, I don’t think anyone else has taken so much effort to prove themselves a jerk. pic.twitter.com/VhtiLdDRPs— Vinayak (@vinayak214) March 13, 2022
Its a great movie. I can tell as I have watched. I don’t give a shit about imdb.— naveen dubey (@naveenchandra10) March 14, 2022
Brilliant thread…. https://t.co/2bMnLBHEQp— Ajay Kamath (@ajay43) March 14, 2022
Although people may not always rely on IMDb ratings when picking a movie, it does have an influence on our choices sometimes. Having said that, as for The Kashmir Files (or any other film), it’s a better idea to watch it and then form your own judgment.