(2011)

Critic Reviews

60

Metascore

Based on 12 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
80
Salon.com
When Vikram Gandhi set out to become a guru, he didn't expect to really become a guru. But that's what happens in his slippery, ambiguous, tense and finally moving Kumaré, which is officially termed a documentary but could also be considered as the video corollary to a thorny work of performance art.
80
As Kumaré plays out, both Gandhi and the film become something else, something much more thoughtful and moving. It is, as he puts it, the biggest lie he has ever told and the greatest truth he has ever known.
75
Gandhi is talented enough, and compassionate enough, that his tour of the human need to believe in something becomes not just mocking, but touching.
75
In a sense, the deception he practices on his followers is contemptible, but in another sense, they're all in it together. The film's implication seems to be: It doesn't matter if a religion's teachings are true. What matters is if you think they are.
70
A goal of this practical program of discipline and reflection is to cultivate an inner guru so that you don't need someone like Kumaré.
63
Slant Magazine
Kumaré has a premise that could've been the launching point for one of Sascha Baron Cohen and Larry Charles's satirical outrages.
60
Predictably, the documentary got a rousing reception at hipster-laden SXSW; real people might find it a touch easy.
60
Village Voice
Prepare to have your assumptions pitched out the window by this tense, surprisingly probing satirical documentary.
58
Even at a slim 84 minutes, that arc is padded out with side explorations of acoustic therapy and alien-abduction communes that dilute the film's focus and only make it seem like the filmmaker's aware there just isn't much there there.
50
Gandhi tries to dodge criticism of his mocking scam by rationalizing that even a phony wise man can offer real solace.

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