The Mystic Masseur

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The Mystic Masseur
DVD cover of the movie The Mystic Masseur.jpg
Directed by Ismail Merchant
Produced by Nayeem Hafizka, Richard Hawley
Written by Caryl Phillips (based on the novel by V. S. Naipaul)
Starring Om Puri
Aasif Mandvi
Ayesha Dharker
Rajendra D.
Release dates
  • 2001 (2001)
Language English

The Mystic Masseur is a 2001 Merchant Ivory film based on the novel of the same name by V. S. Naipaul. It is one of relatively few films directed by Ismail Merchant who is better known as the producer in the Merchant Ivory partnership and addresses issues of Hindu subculture on the island of Trinidad.

The movie was the first film adaptation of a novel by Naipaul. It was filmed in Trinidad and was released in 2001, to lukewarm response. The screenplay is by Caryl Phillips. The film features performances by Om Puri and Aasif Mandvi, and original music by Zakir Hussain.


The semi-mystical[citation needed] novel by V. S. Naipaul moves between farce and acerbic social commentary on Trinidad, the country of his birth. The characters are mainly members of Trinidad's South Asian subculture and community. The protagonist is a frustrated writer of Indian descent (Ganesh Ramsumair) who rises from poverty on the back of his dubious talent as a 'mystic' masseur - a masseur (Pundit Ganesh) who can cure illnesses. In the end he becomes a successful colonial politician (G. Ramsay Muir).


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