Michael York stars as disaffected British rock star Tom Pickle (a thinly disguised George Harrison perchance) who travels to India looking to learn the sitar.
Rita Tushingham delivers a sublime performance as Jenny, the Mia Farrow-like hippie waif who is in India seeking spiritual enlightenment and who falls for Pickle in between his sitar sessions.
Ustal Zafar Khan (Utpal Dutt) is the Bengal master musician and religious teacher who casts his spell over both of them. The Guru has two wives – Begum Sahiba (Madhur Jaffrey) who is the mother of his four daughters, and Ghazala (Aparna Sen), his pretty, young and modern-minded wife. Each is jealous of the other.
Barry Foster plays Pickle’s brash mod manager, Chris, who arrives halfway through the film to try and lure his star back to engagements in Europe.
It’s an intelligent satire on the mid-60s trend of dissatisfied western pop stars jetting in to the Indian sub-continent for a quick dose of spiritual enlightenment – coupled with tuition on an exotic Asian stringed instrument.
Ustal Zafar Khan
The Guru’s Guru
Girl at the Party