Feature Name: Searching for Sheela
Cast: Ma Anand Sheela
Directed By: Shakun Batra
Netflix is one of the most established and trending digital platform which always introduces brand new and brilliant films and web series. This month, the platform has released a bunch of movies in different languages such as Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, English, and many other languages. Netflix is mainly known for its web series and movies.
The platform has always come up with interesting and fantastic content to entertain the viewers. This time, the platform is going to release a documentary film titled “Searching For Sheela” which is scheduled to be released in April. The users of the platform are very curious about the film.
A documentary film without a credited director, Searching For Sheela revels in beating about the bush. It attempts to come up with a representation of a fascinating woman whose story is definitely worth a film. What it manages is a bland apologia for an eventful, error-strewn life that has seen more than its share of ups and downs and has for decades been surrounded by mystery.
Produced by Dharmatic Entertainment for Netflix, the one-hour film is an extended, circuitous version of a Koffee With Karan episode that ferrets out nothing of import regarding the well-documented scandals that landed Ma Anand Sheela, Acharya Rajneesh’s personal secretary in the early 1980s, in a US prison. The questions posed to Sheela are shallow, the answers even more so. Searching For Sheela is strictly anodyne fare: resolutely unprovocative.
Sheela in the film is projected as a fierce, independent woman — indeed, that is how she has been portrayed in the press — but I have never seen someone this devoted to a man.
Searching For Sheela would have been an infinitely more watchable film had the clash between the “public truth” and the purported “reality” revealed a Sheela that the world doesn’t know. No churning happens, no depths are probed, and no real discoveries made. The lady, on her part, is a cool customer all right. Even when she is seemingly flustered a tad by the line of questioning she is subjected to, her response is gentle and calculated, designed neither to divulge any more than is absolutely essential nor to offend.
Searching For Sheela, filmed during Ma Anand Sheela’s first trip to India in nearly 35 years in the wake of the Netflix documentary series Wild Wild Country, has several noted journalists and celebs (most of them in Delhi) interacting with the Vadodara-born woman who was Acharya Rajneesh’s personal secretary in the early 1980s and wielded great power in the guru’s Wasco County, Oregon ranch.
What Searching For Sheela proffers is nearly a record of Sheela’s brief return to where it all began. She visits the neighbourhood in Vadodora where she grew up. Old residents there recognize her. She stops by at the cremation ground where Acharya Rajneesh’s last rites were performed in Pune. At the apartment in Mumbai in where Sheela recalls first meeting the guru who changed her life, the door is slammed on her face. We do not get a view of the inside of the abode.
Overall, the movie is very interesting and fantastic as the movie contains a documentary on someone’s life which most people like to watch. We give the film 2.5 stars. For more updates from the world of films stay tuned to UrbanAsian.