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Scorsese and Deakins create one of the more underrated works in both of their filmographies.
It's my less favorite Scorsese's movie. It's a very good film, with great moments but it isn't a movie which deserves an imortant Oscar. But I recommend it if you like the themes of Chinese Culture.
Kundun is a 1997 American epic biographical film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is based on the life and writings of Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama 🍿
Interesting from an historical perspective and nicely shot, but the pace is slow and it's too long.
Meh, it passed the time.
THE DESTINY OF A PEOPLE LIES IN THE HEART OF A BOY.
One of the few Scorsese films I had left to catch up on, and I can see now why I've been dragging my feet on it for this long... it's just kind of dull. It's ambitious, and it tells an important story that needs to be told, and the visual flair Scorsese provides is impressive, but I just couldn't care less. I was not engaged.
Unfairly regarded as "Lesser Scorsese" as I think people generally missed the point of the movie. It's not really an examination of Buddhism or Tibetan culture but rather an attempt to place the audience directly in the shoes of the Dalai Lama. In a way it's sort of a spiritual sequel to Scorsese's adaption of "The Last Temptation of Christ", by asking what is truly the role of being not just a spiritual leader but a Holy Man in a world filled with doubt, hypocrisy, and complexity.
A reverent biopic of The 14th Dalai Lama.
Martin Scorsese's historical religious drama Kundun (1997) is a testament to Scorsese's faith and appreciation for cultures not his own. Kundun fits nicely in between Scorsese's other faith epics The Last Temptation of Christ and Silence as they are all methodical and spiritual in nature. Scorese's devotion to his faith and tender affection for his subject matter is obvious in Kundun that it's refreshing to see someone earnestly direct an art film about The 14th Dalai Lama. Martin Scorsese remains a thoughtful and stalwart director with his magnificent feature Kundun.
I think most audiences may find Kundun too long and slow to be entertaining, so fair warning for anyone that doesn't like movies like that. But, I adored Kundun as the length never felt tedious and the pace is pretty steady to quick, that's to Scorsese' steadfast editor Thelma Schoonmaker. Her editing choices are bravely creative and strangely unorthodox. She creates an atmosphere of belief by cutting Kundun like it's a dream reflecting back on the Dalai Lama's life. She cuts could be at home in a David Lynch film. She always cuts before you get bored with any shot, but Thelma allows the audience to soak in the tone Scorsese finds.
Roger Deakins' cinematography is epic in scope and bears a forlorn grandeur as you see beautiful palaces, endless mountains, constant deserts, and pensive men all shot with a knowing eye for gripping camera work. Deakins' is a legend for a reason as all his scenes in Kundun look amazing to stare at for hours. I love the abstract and avant-garde classical and asian world music score by Philip Glass. His songs are sweeping in epic scale for Kundun, but create a magical atmosphere that is enticing at all times.
Melissa Mathison's script makes the Dalai Lama's plight sympathetic enough that you genuinely care about him and the Tibetan people by the end of Kundun. She crafts a haunting story of China invading the peaceful sovereign nation of Tibet. You feel all the characters' realistic personas.
The acting is great from a variety of Asian actors and actresses. The child actors are just as expressive as the adults. Tenzin Thuthob Tsarong is the standout as the adult Dalai Lama. He is subtle as he expresses with his voice and face without revealing too much. I found his acting captivating in every scene. Tencho Gyalpo is moving as the Dalai Lama's mother coping with her lost son and country. Tsewang Migyur Khangsar is sweet and likable as the Dalai Lama's stern and supportive father. Robert Lin's Chairman Mao is very fun too.
In short, Martin Scorsese gave us another classic with Kundun that's withstood the test of time.
L'originalita' del tema e delle ambientazioni rappresenta l'elemento piu' interessante del film, che dimostra la grande versatilita' stilistica di questo grande regista. Anche se cerca di mantenere una percezione neutra e tradizionale, non mancano i suoi tocchi registici, movimenti di camera precisi e ben studiati, musiche perfette accompagnate da splendidi immagini e uno stile generale perfettamente coerente con il resto della sua filmografia. Dal film emerge un interesse molto profondo per il valore della religione ed il delicato rapporto tra realta' e credenza, un tema importante, reso e trasmesso con intelligenza e sensibilita'.
): Kundun is director Martin Scorsese's take on the Dalai Lama- the second film on a similar subject in the same year(the other being Brad Pitt starrer Seven Years in Tibet) and neither films are what one would call great films. Kundun is sadly lacking in a number of important areas: passion, energy, and drama, to name a few. And, while Kundun boasts impressive cinematography (by Roger Deakins) and an effective score (by Philip Glass), the images and music aren't enough to hide the picture's essential hollowness. Having said this the cinematography is breathtaking and some scenes are awe inspiring. One scene in particular stands out- In it, the Dalai Lama is having a nightmare about the growing death toll in Tibet as a result of the Chinese invasion. The camera pulls back to show him standing amidst a sea of his dead, red-robed countrymen -- the very people he has promised to protect. It is a powerful, provocative image -- but too little of Kundun reaches this level of mastery. All in all this is a fascinating film and Scorsese fans should definitely check it out.
Kundun is about as straightforward a film as you can imagine. It recounts the history of the Dalai Lama from toddler to adulthood. Its almost like watching a history lesson, but not one with action or big moments, more like literally watching someone lecture in a history class. The problem is most of the events happen off-camera and are relayed through advisers and confidants. I thought seeing how this child grows up with all these expectations was interesting, and the young actors were all great. The movie fully embraces the Buddhist belief that this child is Kundun reincarnated, because they have more than a few moments where he proves it. I thought it would have been more interesting if they had sown doubt into the audience, so that we were questioning whether he was actually suited to his position of leadership, but they went the other way. Therefore, when there is a scene where we see the Dalai Lama questioning whether hes fit for the position, it feels false or hollow because Ive been so completely assured he is this person. The history lesson is useful, even if it is drawn out and not all that exciting in the way it was portrayed. I definitely appreciated what the film was trying to do, and it made me instantly go to the internet in order to do more research on the Dalai Lama, but it is not something Ill watch again.
Kundun is a very interesting and informative movie about the fourteenth Dalai Lama. This movie does a great job of taking us through the early days in the life of Kundun, the God king of Tibet - before he was banished into India at the young age of twenty four. Martin Scorsese's does a great job of showing the struggles of the Dalai Lama against a communist China. I thought that the chanting and rituals of fortune-telling were depicted very well and showed how in Tibet, the people of the city submissively got down on their hands and knees to bow to Kundun as they awaited his blessing. It really showed how they looked to him as their savior, the movie really made me feel that he gave them a lot of the hope and peace that they were seeking. Even though in the film he came across more as just a normal man and not necessarily a God, it is apparent that he is a really special person. Kundun, who is believed to be a reincarnation of Buddha, actually shows that while growing up, he also was subject to learning more as the teachers corrected and educated him. He is shown in the movie as a quiet, humble and gentle man who loves unconditionally. This film relates to world religion by giving a detailed view to those curious about Tibetan Buddhism. It is very enlightening and gives a breakdown of the Chinese invasion and the thoughts of the Dalai Lama. This movie helped relate a lot of the reading that I have studied about Buddhism over the past few months and is a memorable film. Overall I think that this movie did a great job of showing how Dalai Lamas are selected, the life and journey of Kundun and his time in Tibet before it was harshly taken over by China.