Critics Consensus

Milarepa's confusing plot structure, simplistic message, and poor production values cause it to fall flat.



Total Count: 27


Audience Score

User Ratings: 570
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Movie Info

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.

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Critic Reviews for Milarepa

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (16)

  • Milarepa is a sort of Batman Begins version of the early life of renowned Tibetan saint Jetsun Milarepa (1052-1135).

    Nov 2, 2007 | Rating: 3/4
  • 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.

    Oct 11, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Despite timely and worthwhile subject matter, there is nothing very inspired or inspiring in what makes it to the screen.

    Oct 5, 2007 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The movie's spectacular scenery and compelling message counterbalance the somewhat plodding pace and wooden performances by a cast of nonactors.

    Sep 21, 2007 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Sep 15, 2007 | Rating: 2/5
  • Those expecting a reflective Buddhist piece will be surprised. First-time director Neten Chokling's film actually is a powerful revenge drama. Despite the film's low budget, there's also spectacle, courtesy of the Himalayan locations.

    Sep 14, 2007

Audience Reviews for Milarepa

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