Critic Consensus: Milarepa's confusing plot structure, simplistic message, and poor production values cause it to fall flat.
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Bhutanese director Neten Chokling's fantasy Milarepa mounts and cinematizes an ancient Buddhist legend -- a moral fable from the eponymous monk's colorful early life. The story unfolds in the 11th century, when Milarepa (Jamyang Lodro) -- christened Thopaga -- unexpectedly loses his father, and finds his life plunged into a bleak hell. His vile aunt and uncle, Peydon and Gyalsten (played by Lhakpa Tsamchoe and Gonpo, respectively), seize control of the deceased's inheritance and force Thopaga, his mother, Kargyen (Kelsang Chukie Tethtong), and his sister, Peta (Tashi Lhamo), into a period of seemingly limitless domestic slavery. When Thopaga turns 16, Kargyen seizes the opportunity to throw an engagement party for him, hoping that she can use the circumstances to reclaim property and title. The townspeople fail to come to her aid, however, causing Kargyen to spur Thopaga onward toward an apprenticeship in the dark arts and an onslaught of ugly, black magic-fueled revenge. In the end, her plan backfires -- thus demonstrating the nasty consequences for anyone who seeks unbridled vengeance against evildoers. … More
|Rating:||PG (for some violence/disturbing images and thematic elements)|
|Genre:||Drama, Action & Adventure, Art House & International, Science Fiction & Fantasy|
|Directed By:||Neten Chokling|
|Written By:||Neten Chokling, Tenzing Choyang Gyari|
|In Theaters:||Sep 7, 2007 Wide|
|On DVD:||Nov 4, 2008|
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Critic Reviews for Milarepa
Milarepa is a sort of Batman Begins version of the early life of renowned Tibetan saint Jetsun Milarepa (1052-1135).
Milarepa: Magician, Murderer, Saint, a picturesque fable filmed in the mountains of northern India, shows us how most -- if not all -- roads to spiritual enlightenment are paved with suffering.
Despite timely and worthwhile subject matter, there is nothing very inspired or inspiring in what makes it to the screen.
While the drama is rather poky, Jamyang Lordo plays the part with dignified restraint.
The movie's spectacular scenery and compelling message counterbalance the somewhat plodding pace and wooden performances by a cast of nonactors.
Milarepa fails to infuse freshness into the timeworn lesson that violence doesn't pay; perhaps its subject's path to goodness will provide a more enlightening cinematic outlet.
Audience Reviews for Milarepa
When we saw this, I had not heard of Milarepa or read any of his teachings, so it's hard to say if I'm missing the point here, or if the film isn't delivering something. It's a fun movie. It came across like a Tibetan version of Harry Potter - boy with really mean Uncle goes to secret magic school and becomes a sorcerer. Although I suppose Harry Potter didn't wipe out a whole village in an act of revenge (at least I'm assuming he didn't - I've only seen two of those movies and one was on a plane so it was hard to focus on it.). At this point the Milarepa movie takes a somber tone and we learn that revenge is empty and hollow, a lesson I've been told before, but frankly I'm too Western, psychotic, and angry at the patriarchy to get much mileage out of any sort of "letting go/love your enemy" type philosophy. Didn't buy Christian forgiveness, don't buy this. But that's me.The movie ends there, and I guess there's going to be (or maybe there already is) a sequel where we learn how he becomes an enlightened monk. I guess I'd watch the sequel if it were on, but I think I should probably read his actual writings than rely on sword-and-sorcery type movies to learn more about this subject.
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