Starring: Heather Graham, Jimi Mistry, Marisa Tomei and
Directed by: Daisy von Scherler Mayer
The Guru is a musical comedy where Bollywood meets Hollywood
with style and guffaws!
Director Daisy von Scherler Mayer (Heimer Schmidt) didn't wimp
out in the extravagant Bollywood musical numbers and the results
are stunning and spectacular. If you're not familiar with the
Bollywood style The Guru will be a nice "Americanized"
Story goes, Ramu (Jimi Mistry) is a dance teacher in old Bombay.
He gets word from his successful cousin that America is truly
the land of opportunity. Since childhood Ramu has dreamed of being
a movie star. Now with the support of an established relative
his rocket is fueled and aimed towards the stars.
he gets to New York and the cousin turns out to be living in a
cramped apartment in Queens working in a small Indian restaurant.
Oops a daisy he lied.
is still unshaken and takes a few auditions landing in the office
of a porn director named Dwain (Michael McKean). Through a series
of well done mistaken sentences, Ramu books a job - a porn
set he meets all American girl/porn star Sharrona (Heather Graham)
and quickly realizes the mistake he made. He's quite sure real
actors don't ravage young nubile babes in front of a crew and
camera. Ramu can't go through with his fluffy debut. He asks Sharrona
to "train" him in the porn arts while he heads back
to the lowly job of waiter to stay afloat.
exboss is catering a trendy New Yorker's latest theme party. There's
a drunken Guru ready to entertain with mystic jabbertalky and
incense. But when the Guru passes out, it's Ramu that's cloaked
in the turban and shawls and thrown into the party as the Guru.
He dances with the crowd and uses Sharrona's words about sex on
the set as his philosophy. He's a huge hit with the Tavern on
the Green crowd. And to none more then troubled searching socialite
on multiple therapists list, Lexi (Marisa Tomei).
Guru is a huge hit at the shindig and Lexi immediately organizes
his new career as Guru to the elite. Ramu becomes a sensation.
his star begins to rise his heart gets heavy with the sickeningly
sweet syrup of love. He's been bitten bad and has a big old fashioned
case of Smittenitus. All he can think about is his little angelic
porn star Sharrona
a wild magic carpet ride that frequently makes you laugh out loud.
The nicest part is the pairing of mega adorable Heather Graham
with Jimi Ministry. The film was written by a gal, and directed
by a gal. They cast a handsome Indian man as the lead! They could
have cheated and cast a dark Italian established actor in the
lead - which would have sucked - but it is Hollywood and too often
the "brand name" over logic wins out.
actor Jimi Mistry plays the actor come guru, Ramu to perfection.
He gives Ramu soul and depth even playing the John Travolta wanna
be. In less capable hands Ramu could have been a generic stereotypical
performance of the funny sad Indian fellow we always seem to be
served. Bravo to Jimi. And holey pakoora the guys' friggitini
adorable to boot gals. Yum-o-rama!
Graham is a delight. Yes, she's playing another pornstar (she
jokes about it in our interview here) but she does "porn
girl" so well. Haha. No, she really has nice moral beneath
her garter. Even woman in bad professions are still worthy of
being loved. And loved for who they are and maybe we shouldn't
always judge a person by what they do or how they look. Pretty
deep for a comedy - but there you go.
Tomei is right on as the stuck up ditsy sexed out socialite. Hmm.
I kid. Honestly, what can't this actor do? She volleys between
comedy and drama with ease and always brings us something worthy
of donating a few bucks in the till of a theater.
a huge fan of Bollywood and the Indian culture so I adored the
splicing of the two genres. The Guru is just a whimsical
love story with a strange delivery that somehow works. The soundtrack
is still blaring in the background as I type and it's been a week!
recommendation: Chicken Tikka and a Diet Coke©