The Guru (2002)

<strong class="MovieTitle">The Guru</strong> (2002)

(On DVD, December 2003) Halfway between the sex farce and the Bollywood derivative (complete with a number of snappy dance numbers), this is a light and unassuming comedy with plenty of sympathetic characters and a number of amusing moments. The sexual content of the film may surprise some, especially after the (mostly) innocuous trailers. (On the other hand, the DVD back cover refers to the film as a “sex-obsessed comedy”, which may not be the most felicitous choice of words, but certainly does a fine job at describing the tone of the film.) It’s such a light movie that it seems almost cruel to criticize parts of it, but here goes: The “idiot plot” shortcuts really bothered me. Jimi Mistry plays a likable protagonist, but his character is written like an idiot, who’s reduced to reading notes verbatim rather than spin stuff on his own from what he’s given. Then there’s his rapid rise through the star system and his “double life”, which he manages to keep hidden from one another. Erg. Sure, most of that is inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. But it’s annoying. Just once, I’d like to see a hero who could actually play off those “mistaken identity” situations in a way similar than Real People would. Oh well. If you can get over that (and certainly, the magnificent sight of Marisa Tomei in underwear really does help a lot), the rest of the film is delightful.

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