• Release Date: Jan 14, 2005

Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. 75
    Reaches its climax on the main bathing day, with a throng of naked holy men leading the charge into the Ganges. You would be forgiven for thinking you're watching a hot July day at Coney Island.
  2. A snapshot of the festival, one that radiates good cheer and offers moments of true, godly goodness.
  3. 70
    If the film offers any lesson, it is that nirvana is not easily attainable, so there really are no shortcuts.
  4. Given the event's size and complexity, it is perhaps inevitable that this documentary feels haphazard and superficial, more tourist's photo album than analysis. Still, the glimpses it offers are never less than fascinating.
  5. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Casual, engaging documentary doesn't attempt a Hinduism 101 lesson, instead going for an impressionistic mix of on-the-fly spectacle and human interest.
  6. 67
    Remarkable and enlightening.
  7. Mostly, Benazzo and Day leave us alone to take in the extraordinary sights and sounds.
  8. As an introduction to this mind-spinning festival, the film gets the job done.
  9. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    A beautifully crafted documentary.
  10. 60
    An amiable and colorful, if dewy-eyed, documentary.
  11. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    At its strongest cataloging the sheer sensory overkill of the festival -- the faces, the food, the many roads to bliss. Only the slightest historical information is offered and no spiritual background whatsoever.
  12. 50
    A free-for-all doc that, like its subject, seems on several planes at once.
  13. An overture to the subject rather than a profound study.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. LuM
    Sep 29, 2005
    The film takes us on a journey that neither we nor the flimmakers could have planned for or anticipated. This is the beauty of the Kumbh Mela. After seeing this movie (several times) I would love to experience my own adventure at the next Kumbh Mela. Watch the movie now and you still have a few years to plan your own visit! Full Review »
  2. shulya.
    Sep 27, 2005
    BeautifuL and colorful. Great sound track. After watching it for the 3rd time I can say it only gets better! Makes you wanna go there and experiance it yourself!!! Full Review »
  3. AndreaS.
    Sep 21, 2005
    "Short Cut to Nirvana", the movie, is extremely informative yet with good sense of humor. I felt touched and inspired by its magnitude and simplicity.(...) Thank Maurizio and Nick for this remarkable experience! The message stays with you! Peace for all! Full Review »