Filmmaker Vikram Gandhi transforms himself into a caricature of a wise Indian guru, intending to disprove the faith of believers in the Southwest in “Kumaré,” a shallow, deeply aggravating, suspect and eventually hostile experiment in first-person documentary. Provocative without provoking, it’s little more than “Borat” without the laughs. “Kumaré” irritated me from its very first frames, a stunt that grows more pointless by the second. Gandhi’s voiceover ought to be taught in documentary programs as part of “No. Don’t Go There 101.” ” I’m the biggest faker I know,” he tells his kindly victims on camera. Ah, get out more. Winner of South by Southwest’s 2011 Audience Award. 84m. (Ray Pride)
“Kumaré” opens Friday at Siskel
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.