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Travellers & Magicians
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- In Dzonghka with English subtitles
- Making-of featurette
- Behind-the-scenes himalayan location footage
- Print interview with director Khyentse Norbu
- Theatrical trailer
Top Customer Reviews
Expertly written and directed by Khyentse Norbu, 'Traveller & Magicians' is an enchanting tale of self-discovery and the realization that ones' hopes and dreams are not always as far off as one might think.
Dondup (Tsewang Dandup) hates the life he leads in a remote Himalayan village. Even though he holds an important position he dreams of a life in America with a high paying job and an attractive, sexy wife. He constantly reminds his friends that there are no pretty girls in their small community.
He finally receives a letter from a close friend already in America who has arrainged Dondup's passage to the U.S.A. The only problem is he has only two days to get to the point of departure. Not an easy task considering the isolated, mountainous region of his village and the lack of modern transportation. He is forced to hitchhike the distance.
On the way Dondup is joined by a monk (Sonam Kinga), a drunk, an old man on his way to market to sell apples and another elderly man from Dondup's village traveling with his young and beautiful daughter Sonam (Sonam Lhamo) who has just returned from school to help her recently widowed Father with his rice paper business.
During the two day journey the intuitive monk discerns the inner turmoil within Dondup and his growing affection for Sonam. He cleverly weaves a wonderful tale about an imaginary young man named Tashi (Lhakpa Dorji) and his love affair with the lovely and married Deki (Deki Yangzom) in an effort to help the confused fellow traveller decide what path in life is right for him. By the end of the journey Dondrup has come to realize the truth of the monks statement, "What we hoped for yesterday, we dread today."
This is storytelling at its finest against the backdrop of the enchanting Bhutan countryside. A bittersweet look at life in transition. Very highly recommended!!
"Travellers & Magicians" doesn't rely on loud, boisterous special effects, airbrushed superstars or computer-generated chase sequences. What it does rely on is a believable plot line, an exasperated lead character, Dondup (Tshewang Dendup), who wants nothing more but to leave his tired Bhutanese village, go into the big city, and, ultimately leave for the United States. Dondup is dissatisfied with his government job, the fact that there are few (if any) cute girls for him to acquaint himself with, no movie theatres or restaurants. This is a universal plight that anyone from a small town (or village) can relate to, be they in Bhutan or in a small town in the flatlands of the United States. As he attempts to leave, during one of the village festivals, he encounters a monk, a fruit vendor, an elderly man and his daughter. They are all trying to hitch a ride, for various reasons. Although, the self-absorbed Dondup is, at first, rather annoyed at his unsolicited companions, he eventually becomes drawn into the monk's storytelling. In fact, he is so compelled to hear the conclusion of the story (parallel to his plight), that he allows the fruit vendor to leave on the next tour bus out, just to stay behind and listen to the conclusion.
This film examines "the grass is greener" view that we all share, regardless of culture. Is it really the environment with which we surround ourselves (the outer), or our own general outlook on life (the inner), that determines our ultimate satisfaction with life? Just something to ponder......
From the opening scenes the film is testament to the beauty of the Himalayan mini-state of Bhutan. Any film maker watching this movie must be running through his head all manner of scenarios to exploit the country's natural beauty. That Travelers and Magicians was made with local crew and cast speaks admirably to the abilities of the Bhutanese to create world-class film.
But the script reveals that Khyentse Norbu, while perhaps a great scholar of Buddhism, is not always a great writer of stories. His debut film, The Cup, was a charming tale built on an ensemble cast of mostly children, a simple story about monks infatuated with soccer who go to comedic lengths to watch live broadcasts of the World Cup.
Travelers and Magicians is a bit more complex. It's a story within a story, requiring the director to not only deliver on two fronts but to seamlessly weave from the two a unified whole. The film begins in modern Bhutan with Dondup, a young man infatuated with the USA and eager to escape the simple rural life of Bhutan. On the road to the capital of Thimphu, he meets up with a monk, who in Dondup is reminded of Tashi, a young lad restless for adventure. To while away the long hours of travel, the monk begins his story of long, long ago and throughout the film we cut back and forth between Dondup and the monk, and the tale of Tashi.
The fable is for all its soft tones, titled camera angles, and vivid colors, the more realistic of the two stories.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An incredible movie. Deep emotions and magical and sometimes a bit creepy.Published 2 months ago by Senor Nahual
A graceful movie, full of unexpected turns of the plot which manages to be both meditative and unbelievably exciting. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Djinn
A beautiful movie and worth owning if you are interested in world views that are different from western European.Published 19 months ago by sylvia
This is the second time I purchased this movie. The scenes, the actors and the story line: most viewers, I think, would find them avry authentic, and thus deeply enjoyable. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Sonam
Isn't it strange how people from the Far East long to be in the West and people in the West dream of travelling to the Far East? Read morePublished 23 months ago by tn
The culture and heart of this marvelous country makes for an incredible movie experience. I love this film and I love Bhutan!Published on December 27, 2013 by Karen DeMello
The story is a little convoluted but there are really great scenes from inside Bhutan. The characters are not actors, but are actual citizens of the country.Published on December 22, 2013 by mechengr
A wonderful movie filled with incredibly beautiful scenery, gentle humor and Buddhist wisdom. The story unfolds slowly and in a roundabout way to its conclusionPublished on November 29, 2013 by Jonathan E. Lepoff