Mystic Masseur

Rated 2.0 Ganesh (Aasif Mandvi) is an Indian immigrant living in 1940s Trinidad who fails as a schoolteacher and decides he will write books (lots of books, he keeps telling anyone else who will listen). His first publication (One Hundred and One Questions and Answers about the Hindu Religion) is a commercial failure until he picks up his deceased father’s torch as mystic healer. He becomes a local celebrity and then political spokesman in a gentle, tepid fable that is languid and seductively exotic but often dull (a cinematic sin). Mandvi, Ayesha Dharker as his supportive wife and Om Puri as his scheming father-in-law all provide charismatic performances in an adaptation of V.S. Naipaul’s novel that never quite makes us care whether Ganesh is smart snake oil salesman, a naïve champion of common man, or a combination of both.