CINEMA: Meet Messenger Of God‘s ‘Guru In Bling’

VICE: On Tuesday, Pahlaj Nihalani was appointed India’s Censor Board chief after his predecessor, Leela Samson resigned, citing “interference, coercion, and corruption.” The cause: The Film Certification Appellate Tribunal had overruled her decision to keep the movie MSG: The Messenger of God, out of theaters. MSG: The Messenger of God is a terrible name for a movie that isn’t about Moses delivering cheap Chinese food (producers, call me), but the actual issue is that the goofball protagonist of the film is a thinly veiled stand-in for the actor playing him. That actor is the so-called “Guru in Bling,” or Gurmeet Ram Rahim, the leader of Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS), an enormous and shadowy spiritual organization that says it’s the”confluence of all religions,” and has been embroiled in endless controversies for (among other things) allegedly stockpiling illegal guns and castrating hundreds of its members. But none of that is readily obvious in the innocuous trailer for the film. It features a “Guru in Bling” of its own—who resembles a cross between comedian Matt Berry and Macho Man Randy Savage—being attacked by gangsters, and dispatching them with crazy motorcycle antics and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon–style martial arts moves. In other words, it looks incredible. MORE