Kumare: Film Analysis
Toward the middle of the film, I began seeing a change in Vikram Ghandi (Kumare) as he visited Gabriel Urantia and went back to his home yoga center. When Vikram began this journey, his goal was to expose the falsehood of gurus and spiritual teachers. He said he did not have a problem with spirituality but with spiritual leaders. These spiritual leaders, in Vikram’s mind, were just illusions. Vikram’s intent was to reveal to people that “no one is more spiritual than anyone else” and that these gurus are phonies. He wanted to know if people could find the same peace in a made-up religion that they found in a real one. Why do we need religion in the first place? Is this all just “a bunch of nonsense” that somebody made up a long time ago? Are these spiritual leaders just “full of it”? These are all questions that Vikram asked himself as he began his creation of Kumare, the guru version of himself. Thus, the guru character came alive as Vikram embarked on this spiritual journey and, little did he know, he would become one with his ideal self, Kumare. Vikram Ghandi, after his visit to Urantia, changes from a position of negativity toward gurus and their followers into a stance that realizes that gurus, including himself, and people in general are simply all searching for answers in life. Midway through the film, Vikram (as Kumare) visits a spiritual community on a ranch led by a man called Gabriel Urantia. As Kumare observes this place, he says that “everyone seemed genuinely happy, but is this how cults get people to join them by showing them how happy they are? Isn’t that what people saw in Kumare?” In these words, we see Vikram questioning himself and his purpose acting as this guru leader named Kumare. His words, in connection with his question about Urantia, reveal some possible guilt that he is feeling about lying to all these people about his true identity. He wonders, possibly, if he himself is creating a cult through the character...
Bibliography: Kumare. Dir. Vikram Gandhi. Perf. Vikram Ghandi. Kino Lorber, 2011. DVD.
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