5.9/10
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17 user 35 critic

The Mystic Masseur (2001)

PG | | Comedy, Drama | 29 March 2002 (UK)
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2:26 | Trailer

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

Director:

Ismail Merchant

Writers:

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

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | India | Trinidad and Tobago | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 March 2002 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

El masajista místico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$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

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Never Ever Worry
Written by Lord Pretender (as Alric Farel)
Performed by Lord Pretender
Published by Roots Caribbean Rhythms Publishing (RCRP)
Courtesy of Rituals Music
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User Reviews

 
A travesty...how did Naipaul allow this?
10 December 2004 | by umkumarSee all my reviews

Adaptations of novels are _always_ risky business. But this movie takes the cake.

I thought Mercahnt Ivory would have done better.

What kills the movie is the casting and the dialog delivery: the pronunciation. (What else remains?) Most of the actors look too polished for the roles they play; and they are: they are part of a sophisticated international cast that regularly starts in many "Raj" movies (except Om Puri).

They are used to suave, clipped British accents. And that is painfully obvious when they try to speak in the rural Hindi-Trinidadian mix.

The book does not show them that way. I had imagined them looking like people from the region I have seen in India which features typical of people from that region (you get rare glimpses of such people, esp. at Ganesh's wedding). And speaking like them when they speak English.

Ganesh, The Great Belcher (Zohra Sehgal) et al can hardly conceal their clean, sophisticated inflections On Puri does a poor job overlaying the Bhojpuri-accented English onto his native Punjabi drawl. Such a fine actor...I just kept wishing he speak in Hindi instead...just end the torture...

The results are atrociously comic. On top of all that confusion the actors try to put on an Indian, Apu-the-character-from-Simpsons style of Indian accent. Ugh!

Gawd! I could not see the images in my mind be butchered by the on-screen characterizations...

A western viewer may not observe all these fine points but they were too obvious to me...rather painfully so...


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