The Guru

"Very Good"

The Guru Review


Heather Graham was meant for adult films. Gorgeous, sleek, and undeniably sexy, she can't act a lick but belongs scantily clad and in front of the camera. Donning skates and Daisy Dukes, she could convincingly take on any man off the streets as Rollergirl in Boogie Nights. This time around, in The Guru, directed by Daisy von Scherler Mayer (Party Girl), her porn star character instructs us on how to make passionate love to the rhythm of none other than Billy Joel, as her methods of dealing with the mental challenges of porn become sexual healing for a deprived nation.

The messenger of the porn star's wisdom is Ramu Gupta (Jimi Mistry), a dance instructor from Delhi, who longs to "live the American dream." He's in for a rude awakening upon arriving in the states, but his resolve "never to work for a salary" pushes him to audition to be a star - even if it's in porn. To his dismay, with all the folks holding coffee and shining bright lights, he can't seem to get it up, not even for Heather Graham posing as a love-starved Senator willing to bang any savage on her environmentally protected beach.

Drowning his sorrows, he meets up with his friends who need him to replace a drunken guru at a catering gig. He amazingly charms the crowd of Manhattan aristocrats with his rendition of the macarena-with-a-turban, and spoiled birthday girl Marisa Tomei is entranced with his wisdom. All he'd done was dance a little jig and pass on what porn star Graham taught him earlier in the day about his inability to be naked in front of the camera. "Think of your body as your mask to the world," she whispered in his ear, to help quell his fears.

Soon Tomei and Gupta are an item, and she is scheduling appointments with wealthy clients for his sexual counseling. With book deals and large venues in the works, The Guru has the world fooled, but his inspiration comes from weekly tutorials with his secret mentor, who happens to be a porn star, and more, he's falling in love with her. Confusion leads to mayhem when Graham, who has attempted to hide her porn star status from her virginal fiancée, decides to get married.

The Guru's simplicity yields just enough mirth for it to be fun without crossing into the realm of serious drama. After all, it's a musical fairytale, a lighthearted comedy that actually takes some rare risks. The film's maverick technique lies in its fusion of film cultures, both Indian and American, and the interplay of the two genres. Scenes of Grease are juxtaposed with clips of Bollywood classics, and both Graham and Tomei have musical numbers with lip-synched Hindi songs dubbed over choreographed dance scenes complete with elaborate costumes and flailing limbs.

Graham on several occasions threatens to jeopardize the jovial tone with a case of overacting, as she pretends to be a substitute teacher to her fiancée, but fortunately she is primarily relegated to porn star and sex therapist, two roles she pulls off fabulously. If you look at the movie as a Bollywood musical, then Mistry's B+ performance filled with over-exaggerations seems almost appropriate. His bleak attempt at being a "real Guru" in order to convince Marisa Tomei that she needs to follow her own path in life puts him on an even par with Graham's level - he needs to stick to slapstick, she to sex.

He's the one that he wants.



The Guru

Facts and Figures

Run time: 94 mins

In Theaters: Friday 14th February 2003

Box Office USA: $2.9M

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Production compaines: Universal Pictures, Studio Canal

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 57%
Fresh: 50 Rotten: 37

IMDB: 5.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Ramu Gupta, as Sharonna, as Lexi, as Dwain, as Rusty McGee, as Vijay Rao, as Chantal, as Edwin

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

Advertisement
The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.