Samsara

After a three-year meditative retreat (it looks more like hibernation), Buddhist monk Tashi (Ku) rejoins monastery life. But desire stirs in his loins when he espies the beautiful Pema (Chung) during harvest prayers. Next thing he's renounced his vows - not to mention his clothes - and the two of them are rutting like rabbits. After all, Tashi reflects, Buddha himself knew earthly delights before choosing the path of enlightenment. But after being unfaithful to his wife, Tashi feels guilt and decides to return to the ascetic life - only to be confronted by Pema, who has strong feelings about being abandoned to bring up the kids alone. Shot in remote Himalayan locations (actually Ladakh), this plays like a massively extended remake of Conrad Rooks' Siddhartha: phoney spirituality plus softcore sex in a scenic package. No surprise to learn that the Indian director cut his teeth on National Geographic travelogues.

Release details

Duration: 138 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Pan Nalin
Screenwriter: Pan Nalin, Tim Baker
Cast: Shawn Ku
Christy Chung
Neelesha BaVora
Sherab Sangey
Jamayang Jinpa

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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denis

This review entirely missed the spirituality of Pema, and the tension between Pema's practical spirituality vs. Tashi's empty spirituality (of words and concepts and prejudices). This is a visually beautiful film but it is also much deeper.

Nadine

This review is an incorrect synopsys that dismisses the movie's stunning beauty and strong message, especially for women in the dharma

Nadine

This review is an incorrect synopsys that dismisses the movie's stunning beauty and strong message, especially for women in the dharma