Devil of a review

Critics should not be immune to criticism. Alistair Harkness’s wicked and bitter review of Ken Loach’s film The Angel’s Share (31 May) reads like a college student’s revenge for being refused an autograph as a youth.

Why The Scotsman is willing to pay him to write in more than 200 vitriolic words – three gigantic tonsil-warping sentences – what could be conveyed by “I hated this film, but some may like it” is beyond me.

In a newspaper whose obituaries, for example, are often models of their kind, it is odd to find film reviews that spring so clearly from the Sturm und Drang correspondence course of commercial writing.

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Please could Mr Harkness’s editor have a wee word with him, and explain that the talents of a critic or journalist are most frequently demonstrated in inverse proportion to the number of words they use. In the meantime, I shall go to see the film this weekend, if only to spite him.

David Fiddimore

Calton Road