Mystic India (2005)
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This entertaining, educating and enlightening giant screen film rediscovers India, a land of many mysteries and fascinations. It is the world's first large format epic on India. A period film set 200 years back in time, it retraces the incredible journey of an 11-year old child yogi, Neelkanth. In 1792 AD, he walked for 12,000 km continuously for 7 years, barefoot and barebody, through the length and breadth of India, from the Himalayas to the southern sea-shores. A must see...10/10 5***** Simply Amazing!!!!
I wish there is a web-site to follow up, so the viewers can further dive into the mysticism of India.
I also thought Peter O'Toole did a good job explaining (though its VERY brief) the basic characteristics of ashtanga-yoga, the fundamental practice of classical Hinduism and Buddhism.
The Negatives: Because the film's goal was to sample the culture, natural beauty, and spirituality of India, none of the topics represented got enough exposure, in my opinion. The film tried to do a little TOO much by covering every topic it possibly could. I thought that if they followed the story of Neelkanth a little more closely, the film would be a little more successful in both exposing the art and architecture of India and the inspiring accomplishments of Neelkanth Varni.
The other major negative persists throughout the film: the tone of the commentary shows an idealistic India, when in actuality, Hinduism was experiencing a significant decline in the early 18th century. Though the portrayal of Neelkanth was based on factual history, the film is a romanticized synopsis of Hindu thought and culture.
The goal of the film is to show India in all its beauty and diversity. I think it accomplished that goal overall. It's definitely worth seeing.
The Rath Yatra festival in Jagannathpuri is a scene not be missed and for me, was the highlight of this movie. It included over 8,000 participants and chariots taller than five stories high.
Narrated by Peter O'Toole, with amazing music Mystic India will take you to to locations that you can only ever dream of seeing. This is one for the bucket list of films to see - you will not be disappointed. A guaranteed feast for the eyes, the ears and the soul.