What started as a long, elaborate joke becomes a journey, both for Gandhi's students and for the filmmaker himself.
| Original Score: 3/4
Your view of the film may hinge on whether you can accept the ethics of his fakery.
| Original Score: 2/4
There's a Morgan Spurlock narcissism to "Kumaré." It could just as well have been called "Super-Spiritualize Me."
| Original Score: 1/4
Kumaré might be a Sacha Baron Cohen stunt, but Gandhi drowns his padded documentary with a voiceover that is all Morgan Spurlock, deaf to its self-aggrandizement.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
As "Kumaré" plays out, both Gandhi and the film become something else, something much more thoughtful and moving.
| Original Score: 4/5
The film's notion that the ruse here was okay because it ultimately helped people seems like a specious rationalization.
It's a fascinating social experiment, but not much of a movie.
When I first heard this film described, I assumed it would be a satirical, snarky comedy like Sacha Baron Cohen's "Borat." Not so.
A sort of kinder, gentler "Borat."
| Original Score: 3/5
If this sounds like reality TV, it basically is. It is also an extremely mean trick. What redeems "Kumaré" and its director is that Gandhi knows that.
Almost a 21st-century illustration of the principles described in William James' "Varieties of Religious Experience."
A bogus guru sends a message about the nature of spiritual leadership today in this "Is it for real?" documentary.
Skims over the vast topic of religion-divorced spirituality, particularly as attached to yoga, with a calculated superficiality...
| Original Score: C+
[A] dubious Borat-esque documentary.
| Original Score: C
[An] ambiguous exploration of religion, teaching and spiritual leadership.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Prepare to have your assumptions pitched out the window by this tense, surprisingly probing satirical documentary...
Kumaré struggles mightily to emerge from its well-rendered cleverness, and doesn't begin to seriously explore the sense of emptiness plaguing too many.
A spiritually challenging documentary about guru-disciple relationships and taking responsibility for our own spiritual growth and maturation.
Kumaré has a premise that could've been the launching point for one of Sascha Baron Cohen and Larry Charles's satirical outrages.
Sharply shot, edited and costumed doc about a fake Indian guru who teaches his disciples more than he could have imagined.
| Original Score: B+