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Aja (Dhanush) is a pick-pocketing Mumbaikar street magician.

Courtesy of GAT

  • The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir
  • Directed by: Ken Scott
  • Written by: Romain Puertolas and Luc Bossi
  • Starring: Dhanush, Erin Moriarty and Berenice Bejo
  • Classification: PG; 92 minutes

rating

2 out of 4 stars

The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir is an exercise in globe-trotting magical realism.

Courtesy of GAT

There’s a fine line between slumdog and millionaire, says the eager, cute but unconvincing fable-comedy The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir, and that line is determined by the “tyranny of chance.” The Ken Scott-directed tall-tale involves Aja, a pick-pocketing Mumbai street magician played by the Indian charm machine Dhanush. On a mission that ultimately doesn’t matter, he takes off to Paris. There he too-easily meets the American woman of the dreams he never had, only to lose her when he falls asleep in a piece of furniture that ends up, along with some Somalian refugees, in England. An exercise in naive commentary and globe-trotting magical realism, the film dares viewers to take it seriously. As an airplane stowaway, Aja quickly writes a story on his shirt – a moment of slapdashery the scriptwriters seem to have taken to heart. Characters are cartoon-thin. The set-out message on the arbitrariness of fate is later stepped on. As we watch Aja float in a hot-air balloon, we wonder where the thing is going to land. Which serves as a better metaphor about the film than any intended allegory in it.

The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir opens across Canada on June 21.

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