There's some real wisdom thrown around in Fakir of Venice (Monk of Venice), a story of a downtrodden building painter (Annu Kapoor) who is hired by an unscrupulous and opportunistic young man (Farhan Akhtar) to fake act as a religious ascetic from India as part of an art exhibition in Venice. The narrative introduction from the point of view of the man cements his character as snobbish as you are taken into the journey from India to Italy where the exhibitionists and connoisseurs fall for the grace of this monk who can stay trapped underground for hours at a time. Kapoor and his character steal the show as they shine light into the world of petty jobs in India and elsewhere in the world. "The world doesn't let us work and live peacefully, does it?" quips a character when asked about why anyone would sleep under mud for a living and why there has to be a vigilant second person when someone does a stunt like that. A bit of self-reflection is also a part of Fakir of Venice as one of the character says, "I didn't know dying would be so difficult," but then the good points of the film comes to an end as the narrator goes on and on about why he did what he does, making you anxious with boredom. Looking at the Venetian locales is a treat but the lack of fluidity and coherence makes Fakir of Venice a film that should have stayed maybe even 10 more years back in time, in 1999. TN.