Views & Reviews From Writer Steve Miller
Formerly Reviews and Stuff at Rotten Tomatoes, 2005 - 2009.

Currently Showing at Cinema Steve

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Forcing me to make a hard choice....

There are two movies opening today that I'm interested in seeing, both of which are being panned by the critics.

The one I have the most interest in in "Get Smart." From the first teaser preview, I have wanted to see it. My fond memories of the original show also make me want to check it out, even if later previews have made me worry that it might be too mean-spirited for my tastes.

The second one is "The Love Guru." My interest really isn't all that great, and it was one I might well have waited to show up in the $2 theater or perhaps even on DVD before checking out, but publicity hound Rajan Zed and his posse of outraged Hindus are back in the news. Here are excerpts from a WENN article:

Movie executives at Paramount Pictures have honoured their promise to preview "The Love Guru" for concerned Hindus in Los Angeles before its release this Friday.
Hindus, led by Rajan Zed, campaigned to see the film before its release on Friday - in a bid to make sure their fears about the movie were overblown.

But the screening has only served to bolster the religious opposition to the film, which Zed and his followers insist is disrespectful to Hindus and their beliefs.

Zed has now urged Hindus around the world to boycott the movie, claiming the picture "lampoons Hinduism and Hindu concepts and uses Hindu terms frivolously".

After attending the screening on Thursday, Zed rages, "'The Love Guru' is even more denigrating than we earlier perceived from the information gathered from trailers, websites and other sources.

"Mike Myers' guru instigates a bar fight, repeatedly narrates penis jokes, mocks yoga - one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy, wears female jewellery, mocks the concept of third eye, makes disciples drink tea passed through his nose, orders alligator soup, induces elephant copulation in front of the crowd, introduces himself as 'His Holiness', lives in a lavish ashram staffed with scantily clad maids, and whose goal in life seems to appear on the Oprah Winfrey show."

And the Hindu leader has suggested other religious groups should give the film, in which Myers plays an oddball guru called Pitka, a miss.

He adds, "Today it is Hinduism, tomorrow Hollywood might attempt to denigrate another religions.

"Hinduism is often misunderstood and wrongly portrayed outside India. Movies like this bring more confusion and create stereotypes in the minds of audience."

I can't help but wonder if Zed is so upset because Guru Pitka hits too close to home, either because of what HE is like, or because Gury Pitka is who he wants to be. There must be some reason why Zed is confusing an obvious cartoon character with an attempt to portray Hinduism in a fashion that anyone will take seriously or mistake for the real thing.

The upshot of Zed's ranting is that I am now obligated to see "The Love Guru" this weekend. Whenever morons like this start calling for boycotts because of their over-sensitivity and/or religious idiocy, I am morally obligated to trek to the theater ASAP and put my money down. A review will follow to let you know whether I think you should do the same, but I need to make a stand against over-sensitive, headline-seeking twerps like Zed in the most effective way: By acting counter to their calls for boycotts.

I now have to choose between seeing "Get Smart" or "The Love Guru" this afternoon.

Thank you, Guru Zed, you polytheist asshole, you.

(By the way... can someone who can say the name Rajan Zed without giggling give him a call and point out to him that Hollywood has been denigrating ther religions for decades? Ask him if he's heard of tiny Christian cults like the Roman Catholics, the Russian Orthodox Church, and Babtists. Ask him if he's ever heard of the obscure Jewish faith.)

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