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Little Buddha Reviews

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Kylie B

Super Reviewer

December 12, 2010
Ultimately this fell flat for me. I was more interested in the segements relating Siddhartha's story than in any of the modern day goings on, even if Keanu Reeves seems to mainly be in the film to look pretty (which his delivery of lines suggests).

Super Reviewer

January 29, 2010
I watched this film in my religion class for the first time, and it was enough for me. However, I do give it credit for staying biblically correct to the religion!
Michael S

Super Reviewer

March 2, 2007
In a word: Boring.
Marion R

Super Reviewer

December 15, 2010
Great casting, really splendid, because when I think of Buddha I automatically think Keanu Reeves. Honestly I started to burst out laughing whenever Keanu spoke, it was pretty bad. Other than that I thought the story was interesting, and cute. I thought that it would have been more heavy handed, but it was quite passive in it's views of the world which I found refreshing.
February 15, 2014
Plot Summary
In the movie Little Buddha a little male child has been sought out by Tibetan monks who think that he is the reincarnation of a past lama and is the Buddha. The boy takes a journey to India in search of knowing if he is the Buddha.

World Religion
Buddhism is one of the largest religions in the world. With its unique way of being kind, having peace and being one with people and nature, Buddhism is truly a way of life. I am currently studying Buddhism in a course and it talks about the enlightenment of the Buddha. I watched Little Buddha by Bernardo Bertolucci recently. The basis of the movie was the boy Jessie's mother being approached by Tibetan monks, the Buddha finding his way to enlightenment and is Jessie the reincarnation of a lama and is he the Buddha.
Jessie is a little boy that lives in Seattle with his mother and father. One day at his school playground, a monk approached his mother about talking to her and her son. The Lama which died gave the monk a vision that the next Buddha would live in a house on the hill. The monk visited Jessie and gave him a book on Buddhism and wanted to mentor him. Later, the monk wanted Jessie to come to India to see if he was the Buddha.
The Buddha is Siddhartha Gautama who was born a prince. Before his birth, his mother Queen Maya had a vision of a baby elephant with her. Right before giving birth she fell into a trance that pulled her deep into the woods. She began to have labor pains and the tree bowed to her for her own support. Siddhartha was born and instantly started to walk. As he walked blossoms were growing from his footsteps. His father King Suddhodana shielded him from pain and suffering. As he grew up, Siddhartha heard a song of pain, he wanted to know what it was, pain. He never went outside of his palace because he had everything at his fingertips. He saw old age, sickness and death for the first time. He wanted to put an end to suffering. One night everyone was in a deep sleep and he vanished. He went to meditate for six years and nothing happened until he heard a teacher speak to his students about sings not being too tight or to loose. He then found enlightenment. Though many trials came with Mara the Tempter, the Buddha prevailed to end suffering. But will Jessie be the Buddha when there are two other prospects?
Jessie and his father went to India to talk with the monks and see if he was the Buddha. With the two other children, he thought there was just one. In the end all three of the child had the Lamas traits and all three of the children were the Buddha.
In conclusion, Little Buddha was an amazing story about of the Buddha came about and how he gained enlightenment. The Buddha cared about others more than himself and he wanted to end all suffering forever by teaching the power of enlightenment and ending sickness, old age and death. With these things one would be reincarnated and live again.
November 4, 2013
Monks journey from Tibet to Seattle to look for a little boy named Jesse they believe to be a revered Buddhist Teacher Lama Dorje reincarnated. The little boy lives in an average Seattle family; his mother is a teacher and his father is an architect. The mother and father are unsure of the monks, especially since they want to take him back with him until the father experiences a personal tragedy. Jesse loves learning about the monks and the beginning of the movie tells and intertwines the story of Prince Siddhartha and how he reaches his enlightenment and how he becomes known as Buddha. It shows the signs that led him to become a great prophet, how he reaches the middle way and his battle with Mara the Tempter. At the end of the movie you learn that all of the children are in fact Lama Dorje Reincarnated; they just manifest different sects of his body. speech and mind.
I found this movie to be very informative since the story line that is intertwined in it shows the life and times of Buddha. It Accurately portrays his birth, how he was destined for greatness and all the trials and personal journeys he went through to achieve enlightenment, so he could become "The Awakened one". Prince Siddhartha did live a very lavish lifestyle, surrounded in all the excess you could possibly want and this movie portrays that very well. I think watching Little Buddha was an excellent Visual Companion to CHAPTER 5 on Buddhism! It really helped me understand and appreciate his story even more.
June 6, 2008
this was one of the real notorious "Harvey Weinstein fucked with my original version" movies from Miramax back in the day. Apparently Bertolucci hates Weinstein because of it. Then again, how great can a movie be with Keanu Reeves as a Siddhartha?

Well... it's not great (that was my previous review of what I thought of the movie waaay back in the day). But it's MUCH better than I expected, and is very good *despite* what Weinstein did to the cut, which does appear from seeing the film to have been cut by a good few minutes - maybe for the better, I don't know. All I know is Reeves, who shouldn't have any place in this film, gives an astonishingly good performance all things considered, and Bertolucci and writer Rudy Wurlitzer (of Two-Lane Blacktop!) are very thoughtful about the nature of Buddhism and what the Siddhartha means today. And of course Vittorio Storaro is the man, and this along with Bulworth is one of his late masterpieces of camera-work.

Not one of Bertolucci's best, of course, and the kids can be a bit mawkish and eh. But for what it is, I was absorbed.
March 20, 2012
Little Buddha, an extraordinary film. Bertolluci, really tries for a spiritual component that doesn't seem phony, contrived or spiritual materialist. He allows us to welcome Eastern religions into the Western mainstream of our faith and thoughts. Some scenes are mind-blowing and having the eye candy of Chris Isaak and Keanu Reeves kept me wanting to see more. The sweet and genuine Bridget Fonda played the mother of a boy (Jesse) who is believed by Lama Norbu and other monks that Lama Dorje has reincarnated himself within him. When I read that Keanu Reeves was playing Buddha, I did have some negative feeling about the fact that he is a white actor playing a Buddhist role, who doesn't remotely look Indian. How insulting to have a full Indie cast when telling Buddha's story of enlightenment! After being captivated by the colors, the mystical sounds, and the warmth feeling of the movie, those feeling ceased. I found him completely believable as Siddhartha Gautama. The acting may not be Oscar worthy but the movie communicates its subject matter in a way that many people can relate to and was portrayed just simple enough for Americans to understand.

The purpose of the Tibetan Monks from Bhutan popping into the American‚(TM)s lives was to evaluate the couple's only child as a candidate for one of Buddhism's primary beliefs, reincarnation. The story of Buddha is presented to you through the "eyes" of a child's book presented to the American child to help him understand the belief system. It also helps you keep the intertwining story lines straight. The cinematographer in a warm colored light portrays the part of the story about Buddha, whereas the struggles of the American family to come to grips with all of this are presented in cool tones. I love the way the movie tells two stories at once with the right balance between a real life storyline intertwined with an abbreviated story of Buddha, which was actually enough in this case.

When I first saw it I did not know what to expect at all. It is a wonderful thing to see the life of the Buddha being told especially if you haven't seen it before and the monks were funny. The benefit of portraying religious stories in secular films is to teach the non-Buddhist about the religion in a simplistic form and in an entertaining way. For an example, the lama explained reincarnation; ‚tea is still tea even after the cup breaks, implicating the mind (tea) still exists after the body (cup) decays away.‚? It is close to the same way I explained about the existence of God. If you pour salt into a glass of water you know the salt is there but can not see it. The breaking of the cup got my attention. Another line that stuck out to me; ‚There is no salvation without compassion for every other Being‚?. I really believe in that and love that Bertolluci included this line in the movie because it shows us the beauty and compassion of their religion, which other religions should be conscious of this. If anyone say this is an awful it is because they are not spiritually mature and it isn‚(TM)t for them. Bottom line, Little Buddha gives a touching peak into one of the world's great belief systems without any attempt to preach to you. I highly recommend anyone to see this movie.
October 20, 2011
Watchable but boring. Keanu did great as Prince Siddhartha. What was with all the blue everytime they showed Seattle.
December 3, 2008
i learned a lot about the history behind Buddha... This movie has inspired me to learn more about this way of life...
January 18, 2007
I absolutely love this story! I've already watched this movie at least 4 times; but I'm sure it's one I will watch over and over again. It conveys a great deal more than just a story for me. Little Buddha sparked my interest many years ago to open my mind to search for more than I was raised to believe.
art s

Super Reviewer

October 27, 2008
strange... and it is weird that keanu plays buddha! the least expected thing ever! but otherwise pretty good. nothing exciting. i had to watch it for school if that says anything :]
July 13, 2008
Forgive an awkward Keanu Reeves for what otherwise is a fine accounting of Siddhartha and a lesson in the value of taking a deep breath once in a while...
December 15, 2006
This movie was o.k. I liked the part that taught about the life of the Buddha. All the great teachers have taught basically the same thing. I had a hard time connecting with the other part of the plot about the three kids being the reincarnation of Lama Norbu. Some parts were profound and some parts were badly written. I don't think Bridget Fonda is a very good actress.
February 14, 2008
Buddhsim, intresting. this movie, not. this movie made a mockory of the religrion. i almost felt raceist watching it. to top it off the acting was horrible by every one. why would u make keanu reeves sadartha? it sucked.
May 26, 2007
I was absolutely and pleasantly surprised to see Keanu excel in an Out of His Box piece. This is a wonderful film combining modern day Buddhism with the story of Sidddartha in a way the every day individual can understand and enjoy. Seen through the eyes of a young American boy it paints a simple yet beautiful picture of the origins of the religion and how it relates to the modern practice.
July 3, 2007
Only half of the movie is worth anything (the story of Buddha part), and that part is seriously marred by Reeve's terrible portrayal of Siddartha. The movie would have been pertty average if it hadn't been for Reeves.
June 5, 2007
Surprisingly good! I was skeptical when I heard Keanu Reeves was Buddha, was really a great movie, teaching people a little bit about Buddhism.
April 25, 2007
Ve-e-ery interesting. A nice portaryal of Sidartha's life and journey. The rose petal scene is gorgeous!
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