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>
For the scene in the forest with the ascetics, where Siddartha becomes emaciated from lack of food, Keanu Reeves went on a crash diet of oranges and water. See more »
When Raju is playing with the Game Boy you can hear music from Tetris, but it's actually not turned on at all. See more »
Once upon a time, in a village in ancient India, there was a little goat and a priest. The priest wanted to sacrifice the goat to the gods. He raised him arm to cut the goat's throat, when suddenly the goat began to laugh. The priest stopped, amazed, and asked the goat, "why do you laugh? Don't you know I'm about to cut your throat?" "Oh yes," said the goat. "After 499 times dying and being reborn as a goat, I will be reborn as a human being." Then the little goat began to cry. The...
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At the very end of the credits, there is a shot of a hand wiping away the sand of the mandala. (Mandalas are brushed away at some point after completion to symbolize Impermanence, one of the tenets of Buddhism). See more »
Bertolucci is a director who doesn't keep making the same movie.
Little Buddha has much about it that can be praised. It shows much, tells some, and demands of the viewer some thought. This is not something always appreciated by the viewer. The key to understanding this movie, I believe, is not the search for the reincarnation of an important Buddhist teacher, nor is it the life of the Buddha up to the time he achieves enlightenment, but the way a child, or children, and an old man, come to understand together something of the connections that may exist between themselves. We don't see through a character's eyes, we watch the effects of the characters on each other. In particular, Jesse, the 9 year old American who may or may not be the reincarnation, holds our attention because we watch him absorb the lessons that are being taught, and as he learns them, he grows in ways we can expect a 9 year old to grow. We also watch his father, whose character becomes more sympathetic as the movie progresses, who has even further to grow than his son, because he has already learned too much.
The movie is also beautiful to watch. The cinematography, the editing and the direction combine to provide just the right dramatic tension to a movie whose pacing is deceptive, in that it seems slow, but is not. The ultimate result is that a viewer who allows it, will find him or herself transported for a little while, to unexpected places.
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