‘Decoding Deepak’ Review: 74 Minutes Explaining Very Little

Posted by on October 16, 2012 at 8:02 am

“What do you think of this street?” “The street is both here and not here, its-” “Yeah, okay dad.”

I’m familiar with the name Deepak Chopra, but not so much about his philosophies. Half-way through this documentary, which assumes you have some sort of acquaintance with his lectures or books despite spending a good portion of time trying to explain them, I decided to discover what exactly was the big deal about Deepak Chopra. And now having seen it, I still don’t know.

The premise is easy: Deepak took the spiritual nature of south Asian religion and combined it with the tangible, secular science that the Western world feasts on. The result is something that only Oprah Winfrey could have introduced to the world – because she did so in a 1993 television interview presented here – in which Deepak presents a never-ending stream of mushmouth pseudo-intellectualism to present a slurry of science and Hindu/Buddhism. If you’re familiar with the stylish-yet-completely-insubstantial film ‘What The Bleep Do We Know’, you know exactly what I’m talking about. People of all creeds eat this up, whether in the presented Sedona Chopra Center doing yoga in the yard or above a furniture store for New York’s trendy urbanites, devouring his sixty-five (yes!) books.

Deepak’s son, Gotham, who has spent a lot of time in the limelight as a result of his father’s fame, attempts to use this movie as a way to, I don’t know, discredit his father? Make him look bad? What we see is a self-help guru who grows restless when he doesn’t have his Starbucks and a Blackberry at hand, which fits well with his stream of bizarre modernist nonsense that people seem so hot for. But the documentary doesn’t fail because I think Deepak is making bank selling rubbish, but because Gotham fails to do much decoding at all. Coming out, I left with more questions than answers, which ironically might be some ideal fate in Deepak’s eyes. Instead, I see a son who is bound in loyalty to his father, even as his father preaches of distance and disconnection from loved ones in a universe that terminates and begins again.

Or whatever.

5/10 FleshEatingZipper

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