The Cup (1999)

The Cup (1999)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Cup Photos

Movie Info

A group of Tibetan monks finds themselves torn between spiritual enlightenment and their love for soccer in the comedy Phorpa/The Cup. In Northern India near the Himalayas, a band of Buddhist monks from Tibet have set up a monastery in exile from their native land. Under the gaze of their leaders -- firm-handed Geko and the Khempo, a more easy-going sort -- new students are instructed in Buddhist practices as the monks educate young children, who are usually fidgety and prefer to discuss football rather than spiritual matters. Two of the novice monks, Lodo and Orgyens, are also avid soccer fans, and they eventually find themselves punished for watching a match on television without permission. However, the tiny wave of soccermania sparked by the new arrivals begins to grow, and when the young monks ask permission to watch the upcoming World Cup Final between France and Brazil, Geko and the Khempo say yes. However, now the monks have to figure out how to pay for the satellite dish they'll need to pull in the broadcast. First-time director Khyentse Norbu was himself a Buddhist monk, lending an authenticity to the proceedings. Phorpa/The Cup was shown as part of the Directors Fortnight series at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival.
Art House & International , Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Fine Line Features


Jamyang Lodro
as Orgyen
Godu Lama
as Old Lama
Thinley Nudi
as Tibetan Layman
Raj Baboon
as Taxi Driver
as Abbot's Attendant
Kunsang Nyima
as Palden
as Cook Monk
Dzigar Kongtrul
as Vajra Master
Dhan Pat Singh
as TV Shop Owner
Jamyang Nyima
as Sleeping Monk
Pema Wangchen
as Storytelling Monk
Namgyal Wangchuck
as Storytelling Monk
Dundrup Gyamtso
as Tea Monk
Orgyen Tsering
as Football Can Monk
Rigzin Wangchuck
as TV Watch Monk
Palden Gyatso
as Satellite Dish Monk
as Satellite Dish Monk
as Magazine Monk
Tupten Loday
as Lights Out Monk
Drakpa Tenzin
as Lights Out Monk
Gaday Tsering
as Lights Out Monk
Cheying Pading
as Leather Sandal Monk
Pema Kunchap
as Tractor Monk
Tracy Mann
as Newsreader
Shanti Steiner
as Aerobics Instructor
Tibetan Woman
as Dickey Wangmo
Pema Yonten
as Tibetan TV Bouncer
Rinzin Nyedup
as TV House Spectator
as TV House Spectator
as TV House Spectator
Tsewang Dandup
as TV House Spectator
Sangay Dorje
as TV House Spectator
Urgyen Tsecho
as TV House Spectator
Lobsang Tsultrim
as TV House Spectator
Ngawang Gyeltsen
as TV House Spectator
as TV House Spectator
Jampa Soepa
as TV House Spectator
Dhondrup Gyalpo
as TV House Spectator
Dawa Tsering
as TV House Spectator
as TV House Spectator
Ugyen Dorji
as TV House Spectator
as TV House Spectator
as TV House Spectator
Lopon Karma
as TV House Spectator
Tsewang Lhundup
as TV House Spectator
Karma Jurme
as TV House Spectator
Tenpa Gyaltsen
as TV House Spectator
Karma Singhe
as TV House Spectator
Kunzang Tobgay
as TV House Spectator
Kalsang Tsering
as TV House Spectator
Gampo Dorji
as TV House Spectator
as TV House Spectator
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Cup

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (7)

A lovely, delightful, and quiet movie that's easy to swallow and doesn't disrupt the patterns of the world.

Full Review… | June 24, 2003
Combustible Celluloid

An endearing Tibetan drama about loving others and giving up one's attachments.

Full Review… | August 21, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

La película vuela entre las reflexiones espirituales y las divertidas situaciones de un monje para ver los partidos de soccer en la Copa del Mundo.

May 13, 2002

proves the monks are far more human than stereotypes have led us to believe

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Old School Reviews

Delightful and thought-provoking.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Film Journal International

If all you see is a bunch of kids watching a soccer game on satellite TV, then I think you missed the film's message.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Cup

This film, apparently the first film from Bhutan distributed worldwide, isnt a tentative step. Just about any film that must be qualified in a such a way, probably doesnt merit a view. The Cup (or Phorpa) doesnt need to be qualified. This is significant considering its Khyentse Norbus first pass at direction, and all the cast members are monks and not professional actors. Whats more, Orgyen Tobgyal won me over the minute he made it on to the screen as few child actors do. Norbu does an excellent job at leaving the complexity of the two head monks in tact. They are neither harsh nor out-to-lunch. They care very deeply for their pupils. The ease with which these two characters could have descended to characture shows Norbus good sense. While there are a few scenes that linger too long and could have used a bit of editing, itd be really hard to dislike this film.

Luke Johnson
Luke Johnson

The Cup Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Cup on our Movie forum!

News & Features