HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Sputnik
Seducao da Carne
Yes, God, Yes
Five Graves to Cairo
You've Been Trumped Too
Woman in Black, The
Elvis: That's the Way It Is
Man Who Laughs, The
Watch List
Giraffe
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
   
 
Newest Articles
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
   
 
  Siddhartha Spiritual Awakening
Year: 1972
Director: Conrad Rooks
Stars: Shashi Kapoor, Simi Garewal, Romesh Sharma, Pinchoo Kapoor, Zul Vellani, Amrik Singh, Kumal Kapoor, Shanti Hiranand
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Siddhartha (Shashi Kapoor) is a young Brahmin in India who has been brought up by his father and his father's fellow monks to follow the path of the Buddha, but as he confides to his best friend Govinda (Romesh Sharma), all their teachings just aren't fulfilling him anymore, if they ever did. He needs his father's blessings to go his own way but is sceptical he will be granted them; however, on asking for permission for finding his personal truth away from the monks, he is surprised that his father agrees. Now he embarks in a journey to enlightenment, a literal journey on foot across India, and a metaphorical journey that will be boosted by what he learns from the various people he encounters on that particular path...

Siddhartha was one paperback guaranteed to have been found at any respectable hippy's crash pad during the nineteen-sixties and seventies. Although author Herman Hesse had written it in the twenties, way back near the start of the twentieth century, it had really caught on with the beatniks who studied its pages and saw in it a meaning of life for them to plot a course for their lives by, as it seemed written in simple enough terms to render the explanations of how to reject the physical realm in favour of the self-actualising spiritual one to have the goal of the lead character eminently attainable. Whether it was or not, well, take that up with the beats and hippies, but you don't hear much about Hesse now.

His Steppenwolf had been adapted for the screen, and around the same point Siddhartha made it as well, directed by one of the most curious characters of counterculture filmmaking, Conrad Rooks. Unfortunately for his aficionados, his directing career began with Chappaqua and ended with this, only two movies when to all appearances he could have helmed many more with some skill - his work looked the part, at least. He even had the blessing of Hesse's son to make this, as they had met as Rooks dried out in an exclusive Swiss clinic, having spent much of his Avon cosmetics fortune (he was an heir) on drugs and alcohol, so creating a motion picture was a better use of those millions than going the heavily self-destructive route he had before.

That also tied in nicely with the story's message of keeping to the philosophy expounded in Hesse's book, about eschewing the corporeal, but finding the beauty and worth in the simplest of acts to do the most for your inner life, thereby reaching a nirvana that some search for all their lives and never grasp. It would be a pretty disappointing yarn if Hesse's protagonist had gone through all this - the narrative unfolds over years of his consciousness - and not reached his nirvana, so there was a predictability to watching that was assuaged by the attractive photography of Sven Nykvist who Rooks had employed, but it did come across like a slick advert for the way of life espoused rather than a work that truly tapped into the profound. It was less a religious revelation and more along the lines of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, both the book and its movie spin-off, neatly packaged enlightenment for those who did not have time to devote decades to their spiritual education. If that was enough for you, then dive in. Appropriately Indian music by Hermanta Mukherjee.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 354 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: