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The Mystic Masseur (2001)



Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 64
Fresh: 33 | Rotten: 31

Though pretty to look at, The Mystic Masseur is too slow-paced and lacks narrative tension.


Average Rating: 6.1/10
Critic Reviews: 25
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 10

Though pretty to look at, The Mystic Masseur is too slow-paced and lacks narrative tension.



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Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 111

My Rating

Movie Info

Ismail Merchant, best known as the producing half of the successful Merchant-Ivory team, once again steps behind the camera as director for this story of life among Indian expatriates in the 1950s. Ganesh (Aasif Mandvi) is a young man who was born to a community of Indian exiles living in Trinidad. Always bright, Ganesh hopes to make a career for himself as a writer, but he lacks the money to pursue writing full-time, and his ideas about education clash with those of his employers after he gets



Caryl Phillips

Feb 25, 2003


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All Critics (73) | Top Critics (30) | Fresh (33) | Rotten (31) | DVD (5)

A real clunker. A well-made, thoughtful, well-acted clunker, but a clunker nonetheless.

November 4, 2002
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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A warm-hearted gem of a film.

July 20, 2002 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
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Though Ganesh is successful in a midlevel sort of way, there's nothing so striking or fascinating or metaphorically significant about his career as to rate two hours of our attention.

June 1, 2002 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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In the end ... the filmmakers are interested less in Naipaul's provocative world-view and more in his people, all of whom are wonderfully played, particularly by the lovely Dharker and James Fox.

June 1, 2002 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
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A worthwhile way to spend two hours.

May 31, 2002 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
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A puzzling experience.

May 31, 2002 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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An affectionate, sun-bathed memoir.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

What could have become just another cautionary fable is allowed to play out as a clever, charming tale %u2013 as pleasantly in its own way as its self-dramatizing characters.

August 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A lyrical metaphor for cultural and personal self-discovery and a picaresque view of a little-remembered world.

August 23, 2002
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Much of the humor is at the expense of these transplanted Indians, and would be considered exploitative had it not been made by people whom it's mocking.

August 16, 2002 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

The faithful will enjoy this sometimes wry adaptation of V.S. Naipaul's novel, but newcomers may find themselves stifling a yawn or two during the first hour.

August 15, 2002 Full Review
Des Moines Register

Occasionally funny, sometimes inspiring, often boring.

August 1, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

A fairly dull adaptation of some highly regarded material.

July 19, 2002 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

A bore that tends to hammer home every one of its points.

June 13, 2002 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Although some of its plotting feels forced ... The Mystic Masseur coasts along nicely on Merchant's sharply honed craftsmanship, which grants the stunning Trinidad locations an extra degree of lushness.

June 10, 2002 Full Review Source: eye WEEKLY

The pacing is deadly, the narration helps little and Naipaul, a juicy writer, is negated.

June 7, 2002 Full Review Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
San Diego Union-Tribune

A bittersweet film, simple in form but rich with human events.

June 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee

The plot is paper-thin and the characters aren't interesting enough to watch them go about their daily activities for two whole hours.

June 7, 2002 Full Review Source:

Naipaul fans may be disappointed. Those who are not acquainted with the author's work, on the other hand, may fall fast asleep.

May 31, 2002 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

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