The Mystic Masseur (2001)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  29 March 2002 (UK)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 425 users   Metascore: 64/100
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In 1950s Trinidad, a frustrated writer supports himself as a masseur--and soon becomes a revered mystic and politico.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ganesh Ramseyor
Leela G. Ramseyor
Pratap Cooper
Zohra Segal ...
Suruj Mooma
Albert Laveau ...
Grace Maharaj ...
Mrs. Cooper
Mr. Stewart
Michael Cherrie ...
Man in yellow suit
Maureen Thompson ...
Woman in rainbow dress
Dinesh Maharaj ...
Taxi driver


Circa 1940 in Trinidad, still a British Colony, lives Ganesh Ramseyor, of East Indian origin, along with his wife, Leela. He longs to reach out to people, especially to Hindus, in order to promote the Hindu Faith, and be known as a writer. He does get considerable success, so much so that he becomes famous as a miracle worker, having cured a man of sharing intimacy with his bicycle; prevented a man from believing that he can fly; and convincing a young woman to end her fast. His fame spreads all over the island and thousands throng to seek his blessings, which he does dole out quite benevolently, without charging any fees from the poor and the needy. He then decides to spread his wings by challenging the local politician Pandit Narayan Chandrashekhar alias Cyrus T., and takes over The Hindu Organization, thence opening his way to a seat in the prestigious Member of the Legislative Assembly. Now literally the sky is the limit for Ganesh, and he knows that he can achieve any position - ... Written by rAjOo (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ganesh | hindu | trinidad | mystic | fame | See All (152) »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language | See all certifications »



| |


Release Date:

29 March 2002 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

El masajista místico  »

Box Office


$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$18,550 (USA) (3 May 2002)


$398,610 (USA) (20 September 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

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User Reviews

great acting and adaptation of book
20 March 2013 | by (Peru) – See all my reviews

This is one of Naipaul's first books in which he tries to capture the unsophisticated humor and simplicity of rural life in the Hindu community of Trinidad.

The acting in the movie is superb and captures the essence of the book as perfectly as it is possible to do; in fact by adding the visuals it adds a lot to the story.. I did not picture Trinidad as scenically attractive as it is...I pictured a much drier flatter landscape. I also pictured the houses differently so in fact the movie opened whole new dimensions to Naipaul's story.

I have read all of Naipaul's books at least once--the only one I didn't enjoy was the very last one (The Masque of Africa)--otherwise he is a genius. Criticizing Naipaul is rather like criticizing Tolstoy--and this movie does him justice: the cinematography is extremely well done all great acting all of it well done. Some reviewers say the actors do the Trinidad accent incorrectly--I wouldn't know so this possibility did not distract me.

I will also make a bet that this movie as excellent as it is, made little or no money---such is the world we live in.

Relatively few people alive today have living memories of the colonial world as it really was they have instead the PC negative uninformed view. Without authors like Naipaul this world would have vanished unappreciated and not understood.

The movie does take artistic license a couple I recall the young Naipaul did not have a good experience with the Mystic Masseur's visit to England..he was cold and haughty...Also the man who had sex with his bicycle I doubt was in the book it is too dumb. Neither of these things is major.


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