Sunday, January 2, 2011

1997 - KUNDUN, story of the Dalai Lama is pretty and pretty boring

The life of the Dalai Lama the spiritual and religious leader of Tibet.  Directed by Martin Scorsese a guy who grew up in New York hanging around Italian American gangsters. 

Kundun, is a sincere attempt to tell the story of a holy man caught up in 20th century politics but Scorsese also seems interested in paying tribute to Powell and Pressburger, particularly their film Black Narcissus.  The film looks very pretty and the intention of Scorcese was to tell this story on an epic scale and probably garner some awards.  The film is slow, stately and deliberate in it's pacing.  For the audience this all adds up to boring.

The life of the Dalai Lama appears to be the story of a young man who was not prepared to deal with the Chinese communists and their annexation of Tibet.  The Dalai Lama seems mostly a reactor than a participator in his country's history. 

Kundun should be the story of a spiritual man, but what it comes off as is a film of very pretty pictures which has a guy sitting around on a mat spouting half baked Charlie Chan proverbs.

134 minutes.

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