Bored with Bollywood movies but fascinated with their Hollywood counterparts from his youth, Ram dreams to become a singer and actor in America, the country where dreams are made. He is ... See full summary »
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James Earl Jones
Bored with Bollywood movies but fascinated with their Hollywood counterparts from his youth, Ram dreams to become a singer and actor in America, the country where dreams are made. He is encouraged when his American-based close friend, Vijay Rao, comes for visit, and brags about driving a Mercedes and living in a penthouse. The Guptas do their best to talk Ramu out of going to America, but in vain. Ram does travel to America and upon arrival in New York is received by Vijay. This is where Ram will get a shock when he finds out that Vijay works as a waiter in an Indian Restaurant, drives a taxi-cab for a living, has never owned any car, and lives in a small apartment based in a Cinema Theater that hosts Bollywood movies, and his two room-mates are Sanjeev and Amit, one of them an illegal immigrant. Ram gets a job as a waiter in the same restaurant as Vijay, but is fired when he gets into a physical argument with a customer. Thereafter Ram applies for an acting job, only to find out that... Written by
It might not make you laugh, but you may be sore from grinning
Not many people will be attracted to The Guru; if for no other reason that the movie poster (or DVD box, if you will) would suggest that of an Indian film that may be too ethnic for the casual moviegoer. And that is too bad, for The Guru is one of those small gems of a film that through word of mouth will eventually get its due as an entertaining, light comedy.
Directed by Daisy von Scherler Mayer (1998, Madeline), the movie stars Jimi Mistry as Ramu Gumpta, an young Indian man that moves to America in hopes of obtaining the American dream; that of fame, fortune and celebrity. His hopes are soon dashed however, when he realizes that the land of opportunity is not awaiting his presence with open arms, and he must find work as a waiter and then a reluctant actor in porn films in order to pay his quarter of the rent.
As chance would give, Ramu finds himself at an upper class house party where a guru has been hired as the entertainment. When the guru passes out due to excessive drinking, Ramu assumes his role and uses logic obtained on his movie sets to enliven the guests in the first of three musical numbers within the film. At this gathering, a young, compulsive female named Lexi (played by Academy Award Winner Marisa Tomei), falls for the guru's sexual teachings and soon uses her connections to get him set up with one-on-one client visits and eventually television spots.
But alas all is not well in guru land. The teachings and mutterings by Ramu are actually words from a porn actress named Sharona, (played with normal ditziness by Heather Graham), who thinks that she is giving him lessons on how to be a better porn star and asks only that he tells no one of the information they share. Later Ramu must is put in a we-can-see-this-coming-a-mile-away' scene where his teachings to a mass audience are witnessed by Sharona and he must try to win her back after betraying her trust.
The Guru is very light entertainment, but it delivers by offering nothing more than a few laughs and musical numbers that will have your feet tapping the floor. There are plenty of ethnic jokes and stereotypes (Indians driving cabs, ha ha), but nothing offensive or off color. Daisy von Scherler Mayer keeps things lively by providing us with just the right amount of sex, music and humor to keep us enthralled.
The Guru is by far a perfect movie and a 7 out of 10 would be about the proper rating if I was asked to rate it on such a scale, but considering the amount of comedies out there and the lack of laughs they provide, I think you will agree that The Guru will at least keep a smile on your face for 90 minutes. Thumbs up!
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