False idol - Page 2

A filmmaker impersonates a guru to distasteful ends in Kumaré

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Holy bullshit: Filmmaker Vikram Gandhi poses
PHOTO COURTESY OF KINO LORBER, INC.

With his earnest narration attempting to soften the snideness of the joke, Gandhi claims to have realized he's connected with people more deeply as Kumaré than he ever did as himself. And several acolytes really do appear to benefit, making life changes for the better. When finally does his big "unveiling," revealing his true identity, some actually applaud him for underlining that the real guru is the one inside each of them.

But what about the others who leave, furious or humiliated? We don't hear their reactions, or find out how the woman who confided on camera to "Kumaré" about her family's rampant sexual abuse feels now that her revelations are preserved in the context of a comedic hoax. Gandhi's slick feature never feels more staged than when he's supposedly alone, looking pensive and guilty over the possible consequences of his ruse — a performance of conscience that's as disingenuous as anything here. 

KUMARÉ opens Fri/7 at the Roxie.

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