Global Baba Hindi Movie Review
With the drama of a spiritual organisation embroiled in a large scale 'festival' scandal unfolding in Delhi, the timing of this movie seems to be spot on. The story of a bad guy being shot and left for dead turning into a 'babaji' or a fake godman because, 'There's no Business like Dharm ka business' is very interesting. And the journey of Chilum Pehelwan (Abhimanyu Singh in a wonderful role) turning into Global Baba is rapid and smile inducing.
But now what? Baba's ashram grows and grows rapidly and so do his followers. The baba that ruled earlier and now follower-less and powerless complains to the government about how Global Baba usurped land that belongs to the tribals. This is when politicians come into the picture.
This is when the story rapidly falls into the predictable territory. The politicians want to curry favor and pay a huge price for Baba's public blessings. Then they get vicious.
Among his followers there are scantily dressed massage ladies, and the 'prohibited areas' of the ashram seem too garish. Had the filmmakers done a little bit of research, they would have discovered that the ashrams are rather 'designer minimalistic' and not garish. The 'bad' things like groping women, sadhus impregnating 'supposedly barren' women, counting money that has been donated, could not happen so openly. So the journalist stumbling upon all these secrets so quickly seems unbelievable.
Global Baba's right hand man Damru Baba (played marvelously by Pankaj Tripathi) is lecherous and has a speech impairment (He lisps and has a baby babble). The babble is fun to hear but the lecherous bits are not so nice to see on screen. He also seems to be too stupid to be running this super efficient scam. We needed to see one real smart accountant type who could do the image management...
There is a strange familiarity when you see Global Baba blessing people standing in queues, Global Baba being bathed in milk and rose petals, and people buying into the 'Global Godfather Security Kavach', but there is something missing: humor. The movie takes itself too seriously as a satire.
The end is altogether too predictable and even though you nodded at corny lines like: Jiske paas hai junta, uska kaam hai banta, you never really laugh. The threats exchanged between Global Baba and the cop (played menacingly well by Ravi Kissen) are well written.
You come away from this movie with mixed feelings. And watch the news about a 'global cultural fest' organised by a Spiritual leader at the cost of the environment unfold on television.