Monday, March 25, 2013

Kumaré

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Or you can join me as I take you to a higher plain...and a lower level of life savings.




Kumaré – 4 out of 5

Spirituality is a serious issue in the world and through all of human history. People spend their lives searching for the answers of what lies beyond and others, like me, don’t give a fuck and say, “there’s nothing most likely so I’m going to enjoy my time while I have it.” People will literally turn to anything to find solace in the “why” including a religion started by a science fiction author that in no way has beliefs that resemble that of a cult without (so far) a suicide pact, the idea that the universe will give you what you want as long as you make a detailed collage of what you desire and already believe you have it, and, in the case of this film, finding answers in the suburban mom’s favorite activity; glorified stretching a.k.a. Yoga.


You know she's dying to tell you about her gluten-free, vegan, raw food lifestyle
and you immediate regret your yoga mat placement and the fact you actually went to yoga.



"And I'll become a Guru and then I shall rule the world!
Just try and stop me, Batman for I am...The Mad Guru!"
 Director and star Vikram Gandhi noticed that Gurus are more abundant in the world than a lack of self-respect at an Old Country Buffett. Everywhere he turned there were Gurus out there claiming to be divine and holding teachings that will alter everyone’s perception of the planet. Vikram decided to see if he could pull an elaborate prank and make people believe he was himself a Guru and set out to create a list of B.S. teachings and Yoga moves to make his lie have some legitimacy. So, the very American Vikram adopts a fake Indian accent to become the Guru Sri Kumaré and sets off to Arizona to start his study on the human condition and people’s desire to find inner peace and meaning. Quickly, he gets his list of followers and has to decide if he is going to come out and admit he is not what these people believe him to be.


"Pull my finger...don't worry it's part of the teaching."


A friend of mine turned me on to this film and requested I take a look at it for the blog and I really appreciate her contacting me on this one because it was great. As I’ve mentioned with other reviews of documentaries in the past, documentary films are difficult to review because, unlike other films, technical quality isn’t usually a killing factor for enjoyment. I’ve seen some really poorly filmed and put together documentaries that are still great because of its content. That’s what docs are all about; their content. This is not one of those docs because the content is interesting but the presentation is also clean and tightly put together.


To make this shot more effective, they need to be in slow motion and have an
explosion behind them.


Aside from the fact the film is edited and filmed wonderfully, the movie’s emphasis is what makes the documentary entertaining to watch. It’s addicting to witness Vikram pull of the charade and see how quickly (and easily) he’s able to get these people to fall for his act—despite the entire time he’s literally telling them that he’s a phony. However, it’s within this ease that you start to feel sorry for those who have fallen for this deception.


"I'm not sad because of being lied to, I'm sad because I just found out I'm bald."


These people are so desperate to find some deeper meaning to existence that they see something in Vikram that isn’t actually there. This concept makes the film deep and thought-provoking long after the credits are completed. Are these people just mindless sheep ready to latch upon the nearest teat that comes near them? Are these people on their own spiritual journey and Vikram’s ploy is just something that helps them build character and find their own inner truth? Is Vikram a dick for making a fool of them? Is Vikram making valid points about our society and the fact that spirituality has become a business and a chance to belong rather than something deeper? More over, is Vikram taking advantage of them and exploiting them for the sole purpose of making a documentary?


This man is offering up a "pyramid-shaped" approach to enlightment.



The answer is yes…and no to all the questions. What Vikram made with this documentary is an experiment in psychology and spirituality and the questions and answers you provide are pulled from your own experiences rather than Vikram telling you how it is. The film isn’t flashy or filled with humorous animation or famous actor narrators; instead, the movie is just a simple idea that is shown through a voyeuristic approach of us just watching the action unfolding with some narration by Vikram himself. Kumaré is a terrific documentary with a premise and presentation that is not only showing an interesting journey but also making some commentary on our world and capable of creating discussion when the film is over.

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