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  Directed by
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English: DTS 5.1 Surround
  • 2 Teaser trailer - Ned Kelly, Johnny English
  • Animated menus
The Guru (Rental)
Universal/Universal . R4 . COLOR . 90 mins . M15+ . PAL


In the spirit of Bend it Like Beckham and Goodness Gracious Me, with some Grease and Moulin Rouge mixed in, comes this wacky far out musical/comedy/romance/drama that sorta just fails to hit the nail on the head. Umm, I think that’s all the genres... But don't forget to shove in a bit of the sauce from Wild Things and Cruel Intentions, just to top it all off.

In some ways this film is a homage to Grease, with its Indian cross between John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John’s classic duet, You’re the One that I Want - ooh, ooh, ooh. Not much can prepare you for this, nor the ending, but we won’t go there now and spoil it for you all. But how to take this film? Looking at it in one light (the stupid comedy one), it succeeds admirably with an oddball cheesy taste and a plot that is full of swiss holes – but it’s a crass comedy so who cares about plot holes? Then look at it in the dramatic light and it fails dismally. Then look at it in the musical light and it makes you want to run screaming – two musical numbers doesn’t classify it as a musical, something that it was intimated to be when advertised in Australia for a theatrical release. So what is it then? Still a bloody good question, one that you can decide for yourself. Grab this one if you’re after a definite no-brainer.

It’s just so corny and crazy, and you need to stop and think about things. Are you actually laughing with the movie, or are you laughing at the movie? There’s a fine line between these two. Like 40 Days and 40 Nights, this film is filled with sexual innuendo and just really feels out of place with the overall tone of the film. Some of the language regarding pussy (cats, of course) and other suck... I mean such acts just shed a dirty and sleazy light upon this film, while managing to scrounge up some cheap laughs at the same time. A few fantastic musical numbers, a couple of good clean laughs and a beautifully ditzy Heather Graham as well as Marisa Tomei don’t make up for that full-on sexual so-called humour.

"Your genitals are the door to your soul. Let them sing!”

Ramu Gupta (Jimi Mistry) is a successful dance instructor in India who has always dreamed of going to America and becoming a star. He grew up in a traditional Indian family, watching traditional Bollywood films, but his heart was set on Hollywood, and films the likes of Grease. His cousin is already in the States, with a penthouse apartment and a super-duper car. But on arrival in America, the car turns out to be a yellow cab, and the penthouse is on a first floor above a movie cinema. Some life, but as his cousin said, he never would have come if he knew the truth. Anyway, with stars in his eyes, Ramu is on the search for an acting job. But the only gig he can get is in a porn film, co-starring alongside Sharonna (Heather Graham). But Ramu doesn’t realise it’s a porn film and has some slight monkey problems. His little monkey is just a little to shy to come out and play. Do you get it yet? (Editor's note: "Duh", Marty! :) So, Sharonna becomes his guru, so to speak, and gives him advice on how to improve his monkey status. But at a party where his mates are waiting, the Swami Bu drinks a little too much and falls unconscious. Now who is going to pull off replacing him, none other than an actor perhaps? So Ramu is there at this exclusive rich-bitch snob party trying to be a guru. But all he can recite are the words from Sharonna’s mouth. His success from this party (and a musical number) leads him back to Sharonna, who keeps teaching him porn tricks while he is a sex guru behind her back using her wisdom to his benefit. This is achieved with the help of the slightly nuts Lexi (Marisa Tomei), who is a tad shaky and unstable after her Indian-party-which-should-have-been-a-Nepalese-one thrown by her black-haired mother played by a stunning (as always) Christine Baranski. Crikey, she has more comments regarding black and white relations, similar to that in Cruel Intentions, than DVD reviewers do on a lack of extras - how’s that for harsh typecasting? But anyway, Ramu falls for the luscious Sharonna who is engaged to a religious firefighting hunk-a-spunk Rusty (Dask Mihok, The Thin Red Line, Romeo and Juliet) who believes that she is a primary school substitute teacher and not a porn star.

That’s the basis for this simple bizarre-o story of music, sex, dancing and above all things... love. Yeah, right!


This stunning transfer from Universal is presented in the enhanced aspect of 1.85:1, and looks simply gorgeous. Being a film of this... ahem... genre, colours are of the utmost importance, and by George they look good here. All of the colours are stunningly rich, with bright results and absolutely no bleeding. It’s like a load of washing after an attack with NapiSan... The only issue with the colours is that they are severely saturated, and look a tad over-done at times. Shadow detail is superb, as are the black levels, giving a realistic interpretation of real life. So to speak, given the subject matter.

The biggest bummer of the transfer would be film artefacts. They occur relatively frequently, but are just minute specks – nothing big whatsoever. And that is the problem, because they are so small. Bigger dots are more excusable for a dirty transfer, but these little ones are just on the very edge of damn annoying. Coming in for a close second would be aliasing. At times the minute jaggedness of a line is excusable, but a wall that fills the entire frame – I mean come on! That too is on verge of being damned annoying, but luckily there is only one really foul case of this. Other compression-related artefacts are non existent, and posterisation is not a problem at all.

This single-sided, single-layered disc misses out on a layer change, and has subtitles for English speakers, which are clear and easy to read with a high level of accuracy.

The two audio tracks on this transfer are stunning to listen to, and this disc was reviewed by skipping between the two. Normally that's fine by pushing the 'audio' button to change languages, but no, not on this disc – we are sorry to inform you that this function has been disabled. You need to exit to the menu, re-select your language, and then have the bloody movie restarts. Quite annoying in the least, to put it kindly, and after about 50 minutes of switching every ten minutes, this pissed-off reviewer gave up and stuck with the Dolby Digital track. Quite simply, the reason for this is that it is easier to listen to. The DTS track is great, with a very enclosing and tight soundstage, but it sounds way too crisp. The Dolby Digital has a more true-to-life sound, even though the DTS has a tighter soundstage.

But whatever track you listen to, you are treated with a fairly good soundtrack, with very quiet and subdued surrounds and a wicked gut-churning subwoofer track. The majority of the soundtrack sits in the front end of the soundstage, and extends further back to carry the score. The subwoofer is used extensively during the musical numbers, and for various effects throughout. Sure this track isn’t anything amazing, but it does its job successfully.

This little reviewer got excited when an ‘extras’ option appeared on the menu, but was quickly disappointed with the two small options and a large blank page. *sigh*

Two theatrical trailers have been included for future Universal releases, including the March theatrical run of Ned Kelly (0:54) and the April theatrical release of Johnny English (1:15).

Overall, the package is very slick and quite nice, with a quirky sexual romp unfolding on screen. It’s just so outlandishly stupid that you simply have to laugh, but sadly you end up laughing at it rather than with it. Still, for a night of brainless entertainment, especially after a drink or two, this is sure to tickle someone's funny bone.

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  •   And I quote...
    "Bend it Like Beckham meets Moulin Rouge..."
    - Martin Friedel
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Philips DVD 736K
    • TV:
          TEAC EU68-ST
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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