Mike Myers ‘Love Guru’ movie offends some Hindus
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Comedian Mike Myers’s latest movie, The Love Guru, hits the big screen in the United States today. In the film, Myers plays Guru Pitka, a character who is raised at an ashram in India and then moves to the United States to serve as a New Age-ish life coach for a Canadian ice hockey player experiencing ...
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Comedian Mike Myers’s latest movie, The Love Guru, hits the big screen in the United States today. In the film, Myers plays Guru Pitka, a character who is raised at an ashram in India and then moves to the United States to serve as a New Age-ish life coach for a Canadian ice hockey player experiencing marital problems.
Some Hindus in the United States have complained that, based on what they’ve seen in the trailer, the movie lampoons their faith and reinforces misconceptions about their religion. The movie never mentions Hinduism, and Guru Pitka is supposed to be of a fictional faith. Critics, however, contend that considering he’s coming from an ashram in India, wears Hindu saffron robes, and uses the term “guru,” what other religion would viewers logically link him to?
It’s true that in the United States, Hinduism — one of the world’s fastest growing religions and practiced by nearly 1 billion people — has been largely and inaccurately portrayed as a bizarre, New Age-like religion. And The Love Guru will probably reinforce that image. As one Hindu leader told the Associated Press, “People are not very well-versed in Hinduism, so this might be their only exposure. They will have an image in their minds of stereotypes. They will think most of us are like that.”
Upset Hindus should take solace, however, in the fact that this movie is a flop, mainly due to Myers’s tired jokes and lame toilet humor. Reviews have been scathing, and the film received a pathetically low 15 percent on the tomatometer. Looks like The Love Guru generated some bad karma for itself.
Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009-2016 and was an assistant editor from 2007-2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP
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