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The Mystic Masseur (2001)

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In 1950s Trinidad, a frustrated writer supports himself as a masseur--and soon becomes a revered mystic and politico.


Ismail Merchant


V.S. Naipaul (novel), Caryl Phillips (screenplay)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Aasif Mandvi ... Ganesh
Albert Laveau Albert Laveau ... Headmaster
Jimi Mistry ... Pratap Cooper
Sanjeev Bhaskar ... Beharry
Om Puri ... Ramlogan
Ayesha Dharker ... Leela
Sakina Jaffrey ... Suruj Mooma
Zohra Sehgal ... Auntie (as Zohra Segal)
James Fox ... Mr. Stewart
Rez Kempton ... Basdeo
Lisa Bissoon Lisa Bissoon ... Wedding Singer
Grace Maharaj Grace Maharaj ... Mrs. Cooper
Ria Soodeen Ria Soodeen ... Wedding Dancer (as Rhea Suedeen)
Michael Jogee Michael Jogee ... Kedgeree Crowd
Sunil Maharaj Sunil Maharaj ... Kedgeree Crowd


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 (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language | See all certifications »



UK | India | Trinidad and Tobago | USA



Release Date:

29 March 2002 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

El masajista místico See more »


Box Office


$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,550, 5 May 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$398,610, 22 September 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


That's the End of the News
Written by Noël Coward
Performed by Kieron Quirke
By Kind Permission of Warner/Chappell Music
See more »

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User Reviews

The Movie Mystic Masseur in context of society of author Sir VS Naipaul's birth
22 February 2015 | by krislit2-246-442963See all my reviews

Cold-blooded collateral

Nothing unusual means everything usual.

That's a line from a long-time short story, "The Night Watchman's Occurrence Book" by VS Naipaul which the scriptwriter of The Mystic Masseur – the movie – has not yet .... the cineplex is now showing The Mystic Masseur, which is promotionally pitched as "a time and a place for magic and miracles."

The movie, like the novel, is set in Trinidad. Need I say more on how misleading then that promotional line is?

Nothing in the book, nor even the Caryl Phillips-scripted Merchant Ivory production remotely shows more....

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