|Dr. Mahinder Watsa is 90-years-old.|
He knows EVERYTHING about sex. Ask him ANYTHING.
Dir. Vaishali Sinha
Review By Greg Klymkiw
Is there anything you want to know about sex? Well, have no fear. If you live in India, that is. Here you can pick the enormous sex-drenched brain of nonagenarian expert on all things nookie-related, Dr. Mahinder Watsa. Yes, he knows everything you always wanted to know about sex (but were afraid to ask).
Vaishali Sinha's slight, sleek and thoroughly entertaining portrait of the kindly, old doctor isn't about to set the world ablaze, but it opens a window into the world of a genuinely great man who has devoted his life to shattering the taboos associated with sexuality in the decidedly patriarchal and repressive country of India. He's a sex advice columnist for a large Mumbai daily and he's read and beloved by millions. He also offers one-on-one counsel to couples and individuals from his home.
The film provides a thorough biographical history of Sinha, from his earliest days in medical school, through to his ongoing research and practise in the area of sexuality and right up to his current status as one of the biggest celebrities in India. Though he lives quietly, modestly and sadly alone (his beloved wife has passed on), his ongoing work keeps him busy and fulfilled. His family wants him to slow down and they worry about all the strangers he lets into his home, but he pays it no mind and continues with his life's work - unabated, unstoppable.
There is much humour in the film - some of the questions imparted seem so ludicrous as to border on a kind of Dali-like surrealism and certainly the picture does not ignore the opposition in India to the good doctor's frankness. Perhaps this film wasn't the place to address the more serious concerns on violence against women and rape culture in India, but at the same time, it feels skirted over almost unnecessarily. Yes, the movie exposes and promotes the good doctor's open approach to sexuality and while this, in and of itself, provides some answers and contrast to the tough questions, it seems hardly enough.
Still, he's a great subject and viewers will have a fun ride on the 90-year-old's magic carpet of all things sexual.
THE FILM CORNER RATING: *** Three Stars
Ask The Sexpert enjoys its World Premiere at Hot Docs 2017