THE MYSTIC MASSEUR | EW.com

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The Mystic MasseurSet in 1940s Trinidad amid an immigrant Hindu community, Ismail Merchant's most recent picture is stunning to behold, but difficult to enjoy. Based on...The Mystic MasseurDramaPT117MPGSet in 1940s Trinidad amid an immigrant Hindu community, Ismail Merchant's most recent picture is stunning to behold, but difficult to enjoy. Based on...2003-03-07James FoxOm PuriJames Fox, Om PuriTHINKFilm

The Mystic Masseur

Genre: Drama; Starring: Ayesha Dharker, Aasif Mandvi, James Fox, Om Puri; Director: Ismail Merchant; Author: Caryl Phillips; Release Date Limited: 05/03/2002; Runtime (in minutes): 117; MPAA Rating: PG; Distributor: THINKFilm

Set in 1940s Trinidad amid an immigrant Hindu community, Ismail Merchant’s most recent picture is stunning to behold, but difficult to enjoy. Based on Nobel Prize winner V.S. Naipaul’s cautionary 1957 tale, the film follows the evolution of the ambitious Ganesh (Aasif Mandvi) from writer to mystic to politician. A menagerie of vivid characters, including his belching aunt (Zohra Segal) and conniving father-in-law (Om Puri), color his somewhat dreary ascent. It’s just too bad an unfocused plot and sluggish pace obscure such noteworthy performances.

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