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Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Canada

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The Guru

Chris Campbell

I took a chance and bought the DVD of "The Guru" last night and I wasn't disappointed. I'd seen the trailer for the film and it looked like a neat cross-cultural story with a sense of humour and some neat musical numbers. It's a wonderful, hard-to-categorize film that probably caused the American distributor to barely release it in theatres (it was in limited release this past January) and put the DVD out without much marketing or a lot of extra special features. It's not exactly what I expected and had a surpising depth and range that managed to hit all sorts of notes from Bollywood to Hollywood to slapstick to drama. Heather Graham and Jimi Mistry have a great chemistry and Marissa Tomei is great as well. A great supporting performance by Michael McKean as a porn producer adds a neat little subplot. It helps when there is a great cast to pull off a story that is very difficult to categorize or describe. One of the things that I loved about the film is that it shows the cross-cultural globalization that is a reality in the world. Much more of a European film, it somehow manages to keep it all together. The deleted scenes on the DVD reveal that the film could have gone a bit more toward melodrama or broader comedy, but the balance was struck just right by director Daisy von Scherler Mayer. The official guru site has some goofy games, but the British site reveals that it's more of a British film (as star Jimi Mistry was on "Eastenders" and the songs from British pop groups).