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Lama Norbu comes to Seattle in search of the reincarnation of his dead teacher, Lama Dorje. His search leads him to young Jesse Conrad, Raju, a waif from Kathmandu, and an upper class Indian girl. Together, they journey to Bhutan where the three children must undergo a test to prove which is the true reincarnation. Interspersed with this, is the story of Siddharta, later known as the Buddha. It traces his spiritual journey from ignorance to true enlightenment. Written by
Samantha Santa Maria <TE7441667@ntuvax.ntu.ac.sg>
Easy On The Eyes But A Little Too Easy On the Mind
This movie was actually not that bad in fact it had some good parts to it. One major problem though was Keanu Reeves. They are also other glaring and not so glaring problems with this movie.
The acting was adequate throughout except for of course Keanu Reeves. He was not the only one I was not happy with though. Bridget Fonda did not exactly show off anything special either. She was just there nothing great, nothing to horrible just there. Why does she continue to get roles? Is it her name? Her looks? Her acting ability? That is pretty easy its her name. The only thing does she does share with Henry Fonda, Peter Fonda and Jane Fonda is their name definitely not her acting ability.
Then of course there is Keanu Reeves. It is really hard to think of a worse casting move than the casting of Keanu Reeves as Buddha. For action roles or even comedy I do not mind him but for serious roles he is about as bad as you could get. His performance at the beginning I do not have a problem with because Buddha is not yet Buddha he is even less than a narrow minded person. At or towards the end though he is supposed to portray Buddha with depth and meaning, not with superficiality and narrow mindedness. That though is exactly what he does though, he stays an idiot from start to finish. As the movie progresses so does the character of Buddha but not the performance of Keanu. In here he appeared about as selfish and superficial as Buddha was selfless and deep.
The directing should be great, after all Bernardo Bertolucci is directing this. Well at times it was spectacular but it was not consistent. Some of the scenes, especially toward the end were great, the sceneries of the Buddhist temples and ceremonies and one particular conversation involving a monk were amazing. It was like watching the Last Emperor again. Then the scenes with Buddha were just horrible and annoying. That part of the story did not seem to get anywhere, they just seemed to go on and on. That is what should have succeeded not failed especially Bertolucci being the director. That is where Bertolucci failed and failed miserably.
The cinematography was amazing at times as mentioned before. Certain scenes were done very stylistically and well. It did provide some sort of educational importance which is the one thing I was really with this movie. The editing was also pretty bad, it was one of the reasons why some of those scenes felt like forever to get by and why whenever the story was just becoming engaging it had to jump right back to the story of Buddha. The writing was pretty bad but not completely horrible.. The one scene with the monk was great in terms of writing but other than that nothing really memorable. The way the Buddha story was written really made me determine this was a bad script and brought down most of the movie.
This movie should have and could have done better but it did not. Cinematographically wise and directing wise some scenes were down right spectacular and other with Keanu Reeves were just down right horrible. Yet the cinematography was just too amazing even in the story of Buddha that I have to say that this an above average movie. It is a good family movie and a little educational but if you want to watch this alone I would not really recommend it. Very easy on the eyes but just a little to easy on the mind.
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