IMDb Rating: 7.0/10
Director: Ken Scott
Release Date: 30 May 2018
Star Cast: Dhanush, Bérénice Bejo, Erin Moriarty
At a time when the plight of immigrants has become the subject of heated political debate in Europe and the U.S., an extremely feel-good migration movie like The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir comes along as a rather pleasant surprise.
Not that this upbeat triumph-over-adversity tale — about a man from the lower depths of Mumbai who goes on a most unexpected trip through the Old Continent — can be said to truly reflect current realities. But as a cheeky form of rags-to-riches wish fulfillment a la Slumdog Millionaire or Lion, director Ken Scott’s border-crossing adventure, which stars Tamil-born Bollywood heartthrob Dhanush and was adapted from author Romain Puertolas’ best-selling novel, is likable enough.
Journey mostly works thanks to Dhanush’s radiant charm, with the actor adding humor and sincerity to a project that can feel too overstuffed and wacky for its own good — mixing magical realism, deadpan comedy, musical numbers and moments of tear-jerking drama. It’s an unruly gamble, yet Scott directs with confidence and manages to bring his message home by the last act.