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The Mystic Masseur

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2 new from $42.99 5 used from $3.14 1 collectible from $19.99
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DVD 1-Disc Version
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Product Details

  • Actors: Om Puri, Aasif Mandvi, James Fox, Jimi Mistry, Sanjeev Bhaskar
  • Directors: Ismail Merchant
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 25, 2003
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000083C8Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #305,916 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Mystic Masseur" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Set amidst the large and prosperous Indian community in mid-20th century Trinidad, THE MYSTIC MASSEUR is a magical, bittersweet fable about Ganesh (Aasif Mandvi), a young, aspiring author whose unexpected talents as a healer bring him local fame and enable him to realize his ambitions as a writer. But he also realizes his limitations when his reputation as the legendary "mystic masseur" propels him to national renown and draws him far from his roots and his true self. Featuring a touching and comical performance by the great Om Puri, the story of THE MYSTIC MASSEUR allows us a rare insight into the warmth and humor of these characters' lives as the Indian community in Trinidad began to growand prosper.

The first film adapted from a novel by Nobel Laureate V.S. Naipaul, The Mystic Masseur follows the rise and decline of an ambitious young man in the expatriate Hindu community in Trinidad. After his father dies, Ganesh (Aasif Mandvi), an aspiring writer, goes to his father's village and takes over his massage business. Though his writing efforts nearly break up his marriage with Leela (Ayesha Dharker, The Terrorist), the publication of his first book brings them back together--but opens up all kinds of other troubles. With the help of a little showmanship, Ganesh builds a reputation as a healer and a wise man; but when his reputation leads him to get into politics, he loses his path. Despite strong performances, the movie's leisurely pace undercuts an already unfocused storyline. Also featuring Om Puri (East Is East, My Son the Fanatic). --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By nidhi on March 26, 2003
Format: DVD
i agree with the comments made about the lack of storyline and the slightly abrupt ending to the movie. frankly though, the time period and culture depicted in the movie was engrossing enough to make me forget about the storyline. the language, the scenery, the characters, the blend of cultures, the simplicity and the quest for little pleasures, all of that came together to make a movie, quite superbly different than most of the stuff i have seen recently. i smiled, and occassionally laughed, through the whole thing. it really isn't about sending your brain circuits on fire while looking for "so what happens"...its just about that movie watching experience, one that sends you off onto a journey to a different place in a different time where all these characters become your friends (and foes) and maybe the pace and climax of the movie is because its originally a book. i truly recommed it to all.its refreshing!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 22, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
This is an unusual Merchant/Ivory film that focuses on the Indian community of Trinidad from 1943 to about 1954. It focuses in particular upon a young teacher, who takes a wife, outfoxes her wily, grasping father, and lives in the country, desiring only to write books. Still, he has to earn a living, so he becomes a masseur, which is not a masseuse, but rather, a healer. He also writes a books on Hinduism, which he publishes himself. He becomes known as the Mystic Masseur and develops a country wide following.
His book and those books that follow are quickly bought up by a now adoring public who revere him as a Pundit. A brief career in politics soon follows, only for him to discover that an adoring public can turn fickle. The film meanders along, as does this pundit's life. With first rate cinematography and stellar performances by the entire cast, this is a very good, though unusual, film. Those who are interested in other cultures will find this film of some interest. If you are not so inclined, deduct one star from my review.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Fred W Hood on March 2, 2003
Format: DVD
When my wife and I look for unique movies we are quite often disappointed! But on occasion we strike it rich. For our first night, I was a bit too tired to stay awake thru thirty minutes, but she stayed with it for over half. The next evening we both finished it with an absorbing interest... Yet we had questions about the length of timing from the beginning in Oxford all the way thru Ganeesh getting married to writing his first book, the dabbling with politics, becoming a famous healer, then his fame as author and political figure leading him back to Oxford.
We commented on the good acting, the scenery of Trinidad, their cultures and great contrasts with England and India. Yet we still had questions about the central personalities and the unique images of their change from "country-like common people" who suddenly matured into readers with a quickly developed background to give them remarkable powers of healing, judgment and wisdom. All in all, I have a temptation to pass the movie off to three friends who might have some interest in suggested Theology of their Hindu thinking about the spiritual gifts of Pundit in his ability to heal both body and spirit!
It may well be that leaving the story open-ended was intentional with potential results of allowing more questions for discussion and word-of-mouth advertising of such an engrossing story!
Retired Chaplain Fred W. Hood
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By Carolyn Harnanan on August 25, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It must have been challenging to transform Naipaul's remarkable novel, which so marvellously captures mid-20th century Trinidad. Yet I think the screenplay is solid, and the acting good. And so I look beyond the disconcerting pseudo-Trinidadian accents, and instead revel in the landscape and the humour.
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