Movie executives at Paramount Pictures honored their promise to preview Mike Myers’ new film The Love Guru for concerned Hindu leaders in Los Angeles in an effort to ally fears of prejudice and stereotyping. 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 (19Jun08), 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 jewelry, 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 a miss.
He adds, “Today it is Hinduism, tomorrow Hollywood might attempt to denigrate another religion.” “Hinduism is often misunderstood and wrongly portrayed outside India. Movies like this bring more confusion and create stereotypes in the minds of audience.”
Meanwhile Sify.com, a website covering Bollywood and Indian cinema, said of the movie “The Love Guru, which is inspired by new age guru Deepak Chopra and pokes fun at the way the West is co-opting spirituality and not the religion or Hinduism, as some protesting Hindus believed after watching just the trailer.”
Sify.com also quoted Myers interest in working with Bollywood saying that he would “love to be in a Bollywood film.” “If a Bollywood director wants to hire a 45-year-old Scottish-English-Canadian actor, who does comedy, I’m their man.” said Myers talking to the South Asian press.
Best-selling author and spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra, who also makes a cameo appearance in the film, called Zed’s campaign “a cry for importance.” “It’s a sign that your faith has become a cover up for all your insecurities because you can’t even take a joke,” “As viewers will find out when the movie is released this summer, no one is more thoroughly skewered in it than I am — you could even say that I am made to seem preposterous.” Chopra further called the outcry from Zed “religious propaganda.”
The Love Guru opened in the US Friday, June 20. No Indian release date was available.