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THE GURU


CAST: Jimi Mistry, Heather Graham, Marisa Tomei, Michael McKean, Dash Mihok, Emil Marwa, Christine Baranski


DIRECTOR: Daisy von Scherler Mayer

 


"Bright dialogue and finely embroidered performances adorn ‘The Guru’ like festive beading on a pair of made-in-India bedroom slippers--unexpected and inordinately cheering in the drab dead of winter. This very funny studio picture plays like an indie lark, a blending of venerable (and currently trendy) Bollywood musical conventions, Hollywood romantic-comedy formula, satiric ‘Guffman’-esque riffs, and droll parody at the expense of the enduring American porn-flick industry." --Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly


"The bizarre outcome of this nervy conceptual hybrid is a movie that plays stylistic hopscotch as it jumps from one square to the next, teetering perilously each time it lands on one quaking ankle. Lurching between a loudmouthed sitcom and a crude social satire, the movie, directed by Daisy von Scherler Mayer from a screenplay by Tracey Jackson, also shoehorns three imitation Bollywood production numbers into its uneasy mix…Behind its Hollywood-meets-Bollywood banner, ‘The Guru’ is a grindingly conventional comedy that insists on tying up its subplots in pretty ribbons and bows." --Stephen Holden, The New York Times


"Calibrated to please, ‘The Guru’ is a down-market but enjoyable goof. It's also not as dumb as it looks. The filmmakers aren't interested in subverting clichés, just tweaking them. Central to the movie's charm is how it knowingly taps into two of our more cherished mythologies--inevitable true love and immigrant triumphalism -- but always at an oblique angle." --Manohla Dargis, The Los Angeles Times


"In its more inspired moments, this chaotic, disappointing film attempts a kind of synthesis of Bollywood and Hollywood. And its best jokes are set pieces in which the whole cast suddenly breaks into elaborate, Bollywood-style dance numbers…It's a film pregnant with comic possibility that ought to be much funnier than it is…Slack, heavy-handed direction by Daisy von Scherler Mayer, and lumpy, awkward writing by Tracy Jackson ensure ‘Guru’ feels much longer than its 95 minutes." --Jonathan Foreman, The New York Post


"‘The Guru’ has plenty of good laughs, and often its cheesiness is an intentional nod to the assembly-line musicals of Mistry's native Indian film industry. But the fact remains that much of the story relies on trite plot devices, and freely acknowledging such devices doesn't excuse using them as a crutch." --Bob Blackwelder, The San Francisco Examiner