It seems that in recent times, most comedies (including romantic) are trying to jump on the gross-out humour bandwagon, so it makes a refreshing change to see that The Guru steers clear of it. Which is surprising seeing that the film has a running theme of sex and porn. Its combines elements of Bollywood and Hollywood to produce a funny film in the same vein as East Is East.
The film begins with a young dance teacher in India, Ramu (Jimi Mistry) is enticed to New York by his cousin Vijay (Emil Marwa) with tales of Mercedes, Pent houses and a life style of wealth ready for the taking. Unfortunately, when Ramu gets there, he discovers that Vijay was completely lying and finds himself in a world of waiting on tables and driving taxis. His dream to be an actor, like his idol John Travolta, take a back burner.
Ramu tries out for what he believes is a serious audition and manages to convince the director (a superb turn by Michael McKean) to cast him. Unfortunately (or should that be fortunately) he ends up in a porno film opposite Sharonna (Heather Graham) a rising porn starlet. Unable to 'perform' he returns back to waiting on tables.
As luck would have it, during a party for spoilt Manhattan socialite, Lexi (Marisa Tomei), a holistic guru, hired to elevate the boredom of the wealthy classes, passes out beforehand. Ramu is sequestered to fill in and after becoming stumped for reequisite wisdom with which to impress the upper classes, he starts spewing the sex tips that Sharonna had given him earlier. Before he knows what's happening Lexi has tapped into his new found popularity and uses her contacts to promote him. Ramu reinvents himself as a guru of sex and dispenses the tips that Sharonna keeps giving him.
Unfortunately, the tips that Sharonna continues to give Ramu (she still thinks that he wants them to become a porn star) are getting more and more personal and therefore she makes him promise that he keeps them for himself. So on one side he's telling Sharonna that he's keeping her personal stuff to himself and on the other hand he's dispensing the advice as his own. What happens if everyone finds put that he's a fake and more importantly what if Sharonna finds?
The Guru is a quite an enjoyable film, with enough laughs to keep it flowing smoothly. For a film around the porn industry, its unbelievably clean, with nice sets and nice actors, actresses and film makers all supposedly making porn films. Its more of a poke at socialites that are always on the quest to find another fad to elevate their boredom than any sort of racial aspects. Having said that, the Asians are your standard stereotypical types, with funny accents and driving cabs. There is a great sound track with the film and some excellent Bollywood style musical numbers through in for good measure, such as a Hindi version of Grease hits. There are a few 'in-jokes' that some people might not get (unless you speak Hindi or are Asian - luckily I do!)
Jimi Mistry is excellent as Ramu, the young man with dreams of America and being the next John Travolta. His days on Eastenders are far behind him and hopefully he can make it into the big leagues. Heather Graham is great whenever she's playing a porno star for some reason. With big blue eyes, she certainly is a welcome addition and shows that she can play romantic comedy roles well. The rest of the cast add a great deal of humour and play off each other well.
The Guru is a good film to waste an evening with, its light and fairly harmless. Although not packed full of belly laughs it does make you chuckle throughout. Heather Graham looks great and the humour isn't of the recent trend of gross-out comedies, so it does make a great date film!
BACK TO THE REVIEWS