This meandering film has strong performances, but the uncommitted plot doesn't definitively answer questions about society's obsession with gurus. The Shuroo Process feels like it's trying to say something about false gurus, personal guilt, and self-help, but it doesn't really make anything clear enough to figure out the filmmakers' point of view. That's unfortunate, since the film does seem interested in investigating how gurus -- even con artist "gurus" -- can inspire real, meaningful change in their disciples.
Parker enrolls in the Shuroo Process after hitting absolute rock bottom in both her journalism career and her personal relationships. Dourif plays her as realistically as possible, and the character's ascent back to the top of her game feels earned, as does her ability to release herself from her guilt over her brother's death. Shuroo, the guru responsible for her personal growth, is played as a charming person who can make even the cagiest person open up and trust him. But his charm is laced with a bit of slickness, and we learn that he is, in fact, a dodgy person, to say the least. And while the film is successful with its characterizations, it doesn't provide a real lesson, if there's even supposed to be one. Is it that sham gurus always find a way to be popular and relevant in society? Is it that Parker actually did find herself despite Shuroo's fakeness? And does her liberation stem from releasing her guilt, from exposing Shuroo as a con, or both? Still, The Shuroo Process is ultimately an interesting film, even if it's not quite sure what it wants to say.