“In Search of God” explores the ancient Indian island sanctuary of Majuli, where “satras” worshipping different religions through the practice of traditional arts coexist harmoniously. Unfortunately, helmer Rupam Sarmah filters the journey through the eyes of Kavita Srinivasan, a young, pretty East Indian-American ex-architect/actress on a quest for enlightenment, whose descriptive powers begin and end with the word “beautiful.” Exclaiming endlessly about how happy everybody looks (as compared, natch, to Western folk), accompanied by a handsome monk/translator, she canvasses holy men, bluntly asking them how she can find God. Poorly conceived 60-minute pic might have fared better as a more straightforward documentary.The holy men spout a series of truisms, perhaps profoundly felt but platitudinously expressed, on the idea that different religions represent different paths to the same destination. Their simple teachings are further dumbed down through Srinivasan’s wonderstruck recapitulations. Occasional nuggets crop up amid the pap: “Your mind should be as stable as a rock and not run around like a horse,” advises one sage, and colorful performances of age-old religious songs, dances and plays would certainly be worth the trip, were they not accompanied by a God-seeking airhead.
An RJ Intl. production in association with Global Media. Directed by Rupam Sarmah.
Camera (color, HD), Suraj Dowerah; editor, Samuel Markus; music, Sarmah. Reviewed on DVD, New York, Sept. 21, 2011. Running time: 60 MIN.
Kavita Srinivasan, Babu Ram Saikia.