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Filmmaker and journalist Gotham Chopra embarks on a yearlong road trip with his father Deepak Chopra in an attempt to resolve the spiritual icon he is to the world vs. the real man known to his family. From devoted disciples that range from Lady Gaga to lost souls searching for themselves in the red rock deserts of Sedona, Gotham begins to paint a raw portrait of his dad that only a son can. The film travels across the planet chronicling colorful Deepak activities – from a traditional monk ordainment in Thailand to a literal decoding of ancient family registers in rural India. On the home front, Gotham also takes a closer look at the expansive spiritual empire his father has built over his 25 year career that initially was conceived out of Deepak’s own deep personal and spiritual dissatisfaction, and a decidedly non-spiritual (and boozy) origin. Ultimately what emerges is a picture of a Deepak that while reminiscent of other popularized Indian gurus, is more dad than demigod. Full of flaws, foils, intelligence, and irreverence, the decoded Deepak uncovered by his son’s honest scrutiny of him is a symbol of a world searching for answers in the most unlikely places and a deeper plunge into the meaning of identity itself.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 9
- Fresh: 4
- Rotten: 5
- Average Rating: 5.0/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: "Decoding" ultimately becomes Gotham's gentle tribute to Dad, who shall probably provide handsomely for his heirs. It is also a tacit endorsement of Chopra Inc.
Rotten: While Decoding offers some tantalizing insights into the celebrity guru, the movie, at its core, is playing out daddy issues as the filmmaker wonders aloud about whether his dad has gotten too big for his britches.
Rotten: There is precious little table-turning or real insight in "Decoding Deepak" - unless uncovering a passion for Starbucks and a preference for upscale hotels counts as takedown material.
Fresh: As much an exercise in self-help as it is a demystification of its title character.
Great film Gotham!! I loved seeing the "reality" of Deepak. Seeing the many sides of him and recognizing his desires to embrace the world as we know it, yet constantly driven by a passion to search and teach true "being." After meeting Deepak, myself, I left feeling a bit confused, and I can relate to that same sense of confusion you have trying to decode something that is impossible to decode.
Well done. It was a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at Deepak!
Deepak lovers will love it. Deepak critics will love it.
Disclaimer: I'm a Deepak lover; his words helped me to find my way through a time of crisis.
I really enjoyed the film … If you have followed Deepak on Twitter, you already know that he is human. The movie gives a visual to that digital soundtrack, and is completely consistent. The meat of the story is in the paradox of what life is like as the child of Deepak.
Made by his son: How objective could it be? And $15? Not in this lifetime.