Being lauded for its storytelling amid the revelations related to this cult… read this review and launch into a riveting tale, writes Mihir Rebello. Published in the Deccan Chronicle on April 23, 2018.

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Osho in Lao Tzu

Did you know? The directors, the Way Brothers had worked on The Battered B***** of Baseball, and during this, were introduced to over 300 hours news footage of the Rajneeshees.

Unwittingly, most of us turn a blind eye to versions of reality other than our own, because to consider any other version would pose a threat to the natural construct of our minds. It confuses us because it forces us to think. I thought I knew a fair bit about Osho when I started watching this six-part documentary series by Netflix. Now, I know how little I knew; my suggestion being to launch into this gripping story without any preconceived notions.

With an objective to write a review on Wild Wild Country, an internal narrative was naturally running parallel to the one on the screen, constantly reconstructing what I was viewing into words. Somewhere at the half-way point, I managed to get this internal narrative to quieten down so I could open myself completely to the experience on screen. I say experience, because it wasn’t as banal as “watching” something. It was more than that.

I didn’t know it at the time, but I had already taken a stance before I had begun to watch this beautifully crafted piece of cinematographic excellence. It was only at the end that I found a balance between the bipolarity of my own thought, which lead me to this quasi-philosophical rant on a TV series that might leave most readers wondering, “Have I just spent five minutes reading about someone else’s opinion on how to watch a TV series rather than actually being privy to a sneak peek into its story?” So here goes …

Osho wasn’t Osho until much later stage in his life. He was Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. A preacher who claimed to have accessed a higher level of consciousness, and was looking to impart his experience to anyone who cared to listen, through his words. And anyone who cared to listen, listened because they were mesmerised by what they perceived to be a chance to transcend. They felt liberated in his presence, completely renouncing the world as they once knew it.

The story is as much (probably even more) about Ma Anand Sheela as it about Osho himself. Ma Sheela was Bhagwan Rajneesh’s most devoted disciple and was instrumental in moving his “operations” from his ashram in Pune to the USA. What follows is what led me to call this series an “experience.”

When we turn a blind eye to any other form of reality than the one we know, we continuously realign our understanding of the world around us so as to continue relating it with our version of reality.

Wild Wild Country: A story of enlightenment? A story of disillusionment? A story of Osho? A Netflix Original.

Star rating: 4.5 (because nothing’s perfect)

Must-watch? Absolutely. Put your life on pause, if you must.

— The writer is a coffee roaster, vaping enthusiast, cinema buff and seeker of unique stories.

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More about this docuseries on Osho News

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