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Life Arts    H3'ed 6/22/19

The Fakir's Extraordinary Journey (film review)

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Meryl Ann Butler
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Movie poster, 'The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir'
Movie poster, 'The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir'
(Image by The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir)
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The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir, is a spirited romp through magic, karma, free will and serendipity. Peppered with humor and surprises, it's a captivating combination of adventure, romantic comedy and spiritual insights. The upbeat soundtrack music is by Amit Trivedi, with lyrics by Anvita Dutt and features a jazzy, full Bollywood dance number.

The hypnotically engaging, multitalented, Dhanush stars as Aja. Dhanush is a famous film actor in India, as well as producer, director, writer, lyricist and screenwriter who has won the National Award for Best Actor.

The big-hearted Aja is a fakir, defined by Merriam-Webster as "an itinerant Hindu ascetic or wonder-worker" or alternately as an "impostor or swindler," from the Arabic faqir, literally, "poor man." All meanings apply in this instance. Aja's journey takes him from India to France, Italy, Spain, Libya and right into a hilarious version of Monty Python's England. While this is Dhanush's first international film, his song "Why this Kolaveri Di", became the first Indian music video to get over 100 million views on YouTube.

The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir is based on a best-selling book by French novelist Romain Pue'rtolas, and directed by Ken Scott. It opened on June 21, 2019 in select theaters in the USA, Canada, UK, Singapore, Malaysia and India. (It opened earlier in France.) The film won two international awards: the Ray of Sunshine Award at the Norwegian International Film Festival and Best Comedy at the Barcelona Sant-Jordi International Film Festival.

It's a charming, uplifting escape that even manages to make a statement on the absurdities of immigration laws -- highly recommended.


After his mother's death, a young fakir from the streets of Mumbai, Ajatashatru or 'Aja ("Dhanush"), leaves India for France to track down the father he never knew. From the moment he arrives in Paris, nothing goes as planned. Aja falls in love with a young American woman ("Erin Moriarty") having an existential crisis, wakes up in a truck full of Somalian Refugees ("Barkhad Abdi") headed for England, is held hostage in abureaucratic war, sorts out the love life of a Movie Star ("Berenice Bejo"), gets shot at by a hitman in a Roman palace, travels by private jet, merchant ship and hot air balloon, and becomes a rich man for the span of a few hours. As Aja finds himself helplessly shipped from Folkestone to Barcelona, and from Rome to Tripoli, what was initially supposed to be a simple visit to Paris to discover his father's identity turns into a veritable odyssey.

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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