17 user 35 critic

The Mystic Masseur (2001)

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

On Disc

at Amazon

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 »



Learn more

More Like This 

Cotton Mary (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A British family is trapped between culture, tradition, and the colonial sins of the past.

Directors: Ismail Merchant, Madhur Jaffrey
Stars: Greta Scacchi, Madhur Jaffrey, James Wilby
West Is West (2010)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An immigrant father decides to take his truant son back to the old country.

Director: Andy De Emmony
Stars: Aqib Khan, Om Puri, Linda Bassett
Touch of Pink (2004)
Drama | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A gay Canadian living in London has his perfectly crafted life upset when his devoutly Muslim mother comes to visit.

Director: Ian Iqbal Rashid
Stars: Jimi Mistry, Kris Holden-Ried, Suleka Mathew
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A smart, sexy and poignantly accurate comedy drama about a group of twenty-something friends desperately resisting the inevitable - adulthood and responsibility.

Director: Simon Shore
Stars: Dougray Scott, Jimi Mistry, Emilia Fox
The Guru (2002)
Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A young man leaves India to find fame and fortune in America where he unexpectedly becomes a sex guru.

Director: Daisy von Scherler Mayer
Stars: Jimi Mistry, Heather Graham, Marisa Tomei
East Is East (1999)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In early 1970s England, a Pakistani father finds the authority he has previously maintained challenged by his increasingly Anglicized children.

Director: Damien O'Donnell
Stars: Om Puri, Linda Bassett, Jordan Routledge
Born Romantic (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Three young men pursue three beautiful women across London.

Director: David Kane
Stars: Craig Ferguson, Ian Hart, Jane Horrocks
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

This fictionalized story, based on the family life of writer James Jones, is an emotionless slice-of-life story. Jones here is portrayed as Bill Willis, a former war hero and now successful... See full summary »

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Leelee Sobieski, Kris Kristofferson, Barbara Hershey
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Pakistani taxi-driver Parvez and prostitute Bettina find themselves trapped in the middle when Islamic fundamentalists decide to clean up their local town.

Director: Udayan Prasad
Stars: Om Puri, Rachel Griffiths, Akbar Kurtha
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A comedy centered on an Indian mother who takes her obsession with marriage into the world of serial murder.

Director: Gurinder Chadha
Stars: Sanjeev Bhaskar, Steve Morphew, Steve Jones
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

An expatriated French novelist (Jeanne Moreau) returns to Paris when she learns that her childhood home is being placed on the auction block. What she doesn't count on is that she has to ... See full summary »

Director: Ismail Merchant
Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Sean Young, Sam Waterston
The Courtesans of Bombay (TV Movie 1983)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Roughly structured over 24 hours, we visit Pavan Pool, a compound in Bombay where poor women sing, dance, and engage in prostitution. By day, they practice singing and dancing, both ... See full summary »

Director: Ismail Merchant
Stars: Saeed Jaffrey, Zohra Sehgal, Kareem Samar


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?


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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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...

2 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed