Anybody who has access to a keypad is a movie reviewer these days, so why should Vineet Jain be left behind?

Since at least 2011, the all-powerful managing director of the Times Group has been offering his views on the week’s major movie releases through his account at MyTimes, a social networking feature on the Indiatimes website. Jain also regularly shares his playlists and articles of interest (a disproportionate number of them about fashion models, film stars and news about events organised by his company, such as the Miss India contest).

Jain usually restricts his reviews to a few sentences, and never forgets to rate the movies. Here is his critique of last Friday’s release Hamari Adhuri Kahani.
“Poor direction and over dramatic dialogues made a potentially good plot unrealistic. The movie completely lacked emotion even though the whole premise this movie was based on was to make the audience cry and be engulfed with emotion.”

The number of stars accorded to the Vidya Balan-Emraan Hashmi starrer: two. The Times of India newspaper gave the movie an extra half star, while the group tabloid, Mumbai Mirror, stuck to two.

Movie ratings matter greatly for the Times Group. Mumbai Mirror’s previous critic, Rahul Desai, quit the newspaper after his two-and-a-half star rating for Tanu Weds Manu Returns was bumped up by one star “following reader feedback and research which differed significantly from him”. Jain’s views on Tanu Weds Manu Returns are not to be found on his MyTimes profile. He did, however, award four-and-a-half stars to Dil Dhadakne Do, which is hardly surprising considering that a Timesgroup company, Junglee Pictures, is the movie’s co-producer along with Excel Entertainment.

Here is Jain on Dil Dhadakne Do (the review runs a little longer than usual):
“It is a very good movie. It is about a myriad of relationships among the urban upper class where money and business can over ride relationships based purely on love. It shows how parents put too much pressure on their kids to marry the one they want because of business reasons. The first half is slow because the director takes her time to flesh out the characters. The second half just flies and makes you magically laugh and cry at the same time which is normally impossible. Great dialogues and a good insight into the lifestyles and conflicts of the rich.”

Jain also compares the star ratings he gives with the ones handed out by his group’s flagship newspaper, the Times of India. He gave half a star extra to Dil Dhadakne Do (four-and-a-half) than his newspaper but his ratings for other movies, such as NH10 (four stars) and Ugly (four stars) are in perfect sync with his paper.

Vineet Jain’s MyTimes account reveals his keen interest in the Hindi film business as well as his desire to not only produce a movie (such as Dil Dhadakne Do) but also control its outcome.

Jain “agrees” or disagrees” with adverse reviews of Dil Dhadakne Do, even taking the trouble to reply to dissenters – especially over the number of stars they have given. An innocent user named Ankit demanded to know, “How much have you been paid to write this review?”

Vineet Jain disagreed with the comment.