Holy Smoke!

Holy Smoke!

Streaming Video - 1999
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While on a journey of discovery in India, beautiful young Ruth Barron falls under the influence of a charismatic religious guru. Her desperate parents then hire PJ Waters, a macho cult deprogrammer who confronts Ruth in a remote desert hideaway. But PJ quickly learns that he's met his match in the sexy, intelligent and iron-willed Ruth! Sparks fly in this darkly hilarious battle of the sexes.
Publisher: [United States] : Miramax, 1999
Branch Call Number: E-VIDEO
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (approximately 114 min.)) : sd., col
video file


From the critics

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Oct 27, 2018

I'm a regular person and you know it.
When you meet the happiest people you've ever known, who introduce you to the most loving people you've ever encountered, and you find the leaderc to be the most inspired, compassionate and understanding. The cause... something you never dared hope could be accomplished, and all this sounds too good to be true. It probably is. Because these men are not only... some of the most charismatic people of the 20th century, they are also some of the most dangerous. Fanatics have their dreams... wherewith they weave a paradise for a sect.

Oct 27, 2018

You think a sari is going to change that? Ten hundred saris won't hide that. And you'll only succeed in tying a big knot around yourself.
-Hello. Would you... share what you're thinking, please? Hello!
Meditating. I was just meditating on the difference between you and Baba.
-He wears a dress. He lives the way he teaches.
And what, specifically, has he taught you?
-To do good. To be a good person.
And how is that manifesting itself? Are you out there doing good deeds? Paying taxes?
-You're a cynic.
Yes. Yes, I am a cynic... because I investigate crap. What about the crap
in you, Ruth? Did you take that to... the guru?
-You're a shit. You don't care about me. You don't even know me. And I didn't go to Baba to get my fxcked-upness fixed.
-Well, you'd be the first.
All right, so I hoped it would help me grow. I know I'm not perfect.

Oct 27, 2018

So let's get to the facts. What are you doing with your soul? What is Chidaatma Baba teaching you?
-What's the point of my telling you? You already have an opinion.
I want to know what you know. Something has touched you, hasn't it?
-To find out that, you'd have to look into my heart. Way beyond something you can read in a book and quote. It is. It is.It is.
That's... That's his teaching. That's what he said? His words? "It is"?
-His words. "He alone attains unto it who exclaims, 'It is! It is!' Thus may it be perceived and apprehended in its essence." The Upanishads.
I was young once, too, and handsome. You'd have been impressed.
- I wasn't born!
I don't think you could actually... entwine with another person... on account of your having to maybe give something back.
-You don't know that.
No, and I don't want to.

Oct 27, 2018

The truth about your saintdom? Baba and Mrs. Baba?
-Not everything's a posture. Not everything's a joke.
You're right. It's not a joke. We're talking about your soul here. Have you thought about the damage... that could be done to your soul, to your very center, if you hand it over to someone else? To the wrong someone else? "I feel within me that spark, that atom emanation of the divine spirit." Guiseppe Verdi. The soul is the match. The spark. The flame that can light your path. I want to ask you a question. What, in your opinion, is the most important task of a human life? Any idea?
-Is this multiple choice, or a fake question?
It's an oratory technique. Have you heard of Socrates?
"The soul takes nothing with her to the other world... but her education
and culture."

Oct 27, 2018

Why are you here?
-To save you.
No. I mean on Earth. Why are you here? What's the point of your life?
-Is this a trick?
No! No, Mum. It's a real question. Why are you here? Do you ever think about that?
-Yes! I think about a lot of things. I think about the... magnetic draw of the planets, their ever-shifting relationship, the healing power of crystals...
I don't want to disempower you. If you want disempowerment, you go back to mother India. See how they treat women there. Or didn't you notice all those little ultrasounds beeping away? So that people can say, "Oh, my God, it's a girl!" And flush her out of the border.
-They're more honest.
Excuse me?
-They're more honest in their hatred of women!
There's no way I can even listen to someone like you, who dyes their hair.

Oct 27, 2018

I work... a basic three-step system, where I steer the subject... toward a breakthrough... Breakdown, whatever you prefer to call it. Step one, isolate her. Get her attention and respect. When she's listening well, I start to push her. The heat goes on.
-The heat?
It's very traumatic for the subject which it's supposed to be.
Step two, I remove all her props. Her books, her sari, if she wears one. Is she wearing one?
-Yeah. Actually, she looks... quite feminine for a change, doesn't she, Robbie?
-- What?
Finally, the clouds of her unreason... burst upon the Earth, there's tears, sobs, hugs with the family, and it's over for me. But... just beginning
for you.

Oct 27, 2018

We were just like everyone else traveling in India. We wanted to visit a live guru. She thought it would be a good laugh.
Mum, I've got no idea what Prue told you. She just got really scared. Something amazing has happened to me. It's so powerful and so gentle. It's... hard for me to describe. You've got to experience Baba, Mum. When he looks at you... Just looks at you... All your pretensions and fears just vanish. And suddenly it's so... It's so obvious... how to live your life... That it's really possible to be happy and truthful, and do good. How would you feel if I were to become enlightened?
What do you mean, "next time"?
-You know, next time... In another life. Never mind.
He's dying, Ruth!
You are pleasing yourself, which is exactly what we brought you up to do. No, you just please yourself. Don't let our deaths inconvenience you.

Oct 27, 2018

She thinks I'm going to live in India, marry Baba... and commit group suicide. She and dad hate Indians. You know? Dark people? They're just the main points.
-Well, are you going to marry him?
I wish.
- You wish?
Yeah. He's absolute love.
-There's, just, three problems. He's not cute, Ruth. Look at him! He's poofie! He's, like, old!
It's about love. It's not that literal. Marriage is symbolic. He's marrying everyone.
What do you believe in?
-Safe sex.
-I'm an anarchist.
My parents subscribed to their magazine. "The Lord's Prayer is muttered by traumatized, paranoid worms... groveling for a meager existence."


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Oct 26, 2018

Can't help but to contrast the two very different characters portrayed by Winslet in this spiritual drama and the 1997 romantic blockbuster Titanic. The opening Neil Diamond music video to religious theme was wonderful and was followed by very funny family scenes until Keitel the "cult-exiter" appeared on screen. The rest hit on other social topics on cults, sexual liberty and pop cultures. Deserved the "Holy Smoke!" interjection for those graphic erotic scenes and Kate was "smokin!"

Jan 28, 2017

Sorry, contrary to the other comments, I found this a very good movie. Respect for the spiritual aspirations of another, whatever they may be, is the theme and very respectfully done. Winslet and Kitel do a good job of playing off each other.

Mar 19, 2015

A needy young lady finds herself following a guru, distresses her family. They hire a specialist in deprogramming cult members. Turns out she might have been better off with the guru, though maybe not. In any case whatever the intended statement, the message ended up being, trust noone.

Jan 15, 2012

Slow. Waste of time!

Jul 16, 2011



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