|thinkfilm | Release Date: May 3, 2002||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
The film is being sold as a comedy, and it is amusing. Secretly, though, it's a romance, with Merchant's roving camera discerning the tempestuous love triangle at the heart of Naipaul's novel.
There is a very sharp, funny critique of ambition and self-made gurus in The Mystic Masseur, but it is obscured by a softening bloat.
At its best, The Mystic Masseur is like a tall tale that grows more beguiling and credible the taller it gets.
A small story, with fewer lofty ambitions than its lead character, the film runs out of steam at a certain point. Overall, its leisurely pace and lack of overt action will bore some filmgoers, while the movie's final section, during which Ganesh pursues his political aspirations, feels strangely hurried and less satisfying than the rest of the story.
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