Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bernardo Bertulucci's Little Buddha

Little Buddha, inspired by a TRUE STORY, is moving drama from Academy Award-winning director Bernardo Bertolucci. It tells the story of a Tibetan monk known as Lama Norbu (Ying Ruocheng), living in exile in Bhutan, and is searching for the reincarnation of his teacher, Lama Dorje. His quest takes him to Seattle, where signs indicate that a boy named Jesse may be the lama. Cultures collide when we meet the boy's American parents (Bridget Fonda and actor/singer Chris Isaak), who are understandably skeptical about Lama Norbu's excitement. Ultimately, Jesse and his father are curious enough to travel to Nepal and Bhutan (as did Bertolucci's crew), where other candidates have been identified. Throughout the film, Bertolucci cuts to episodes in the life of Siddhartha (Keanu Reeves), whose voyage of discovery 2,500 years ago led to his enlightenment as the Buddha. Bertolucci shoots Siddhartha's journey in rich reds and golds, while the scenes in Seattle--where the Americans seem morose and lost--are muted in cool blue. LITTLE BUDDHA is an intimate story in which an ancient system of belief holds its own in the modern world.

This beautifully filmed, little movie filmed mostly in Thailand, is sooooo moving - and such a cinematic experience for me especially seeing the SIDDHARTHA story line come to life in the big screen... Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse is one of my all time FAVE books...

So this movie is really a story within a story of a movie... subtlely and beautifully told -- on all counts. And as an added BONUS, Siddhartha is played by a very young Keanu Reeves.