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That said, there is no reason to give this DVD anything less than 5 stars, because it could not be better than it is. Interestingly, most of the cast and crew are from a Buddhist monastery. You would never know until you read the credits at the end because there is nothing provincial or pedestrian about it. The acting, dialogue, special effects... everything for that matter, comes across as a very professional production.
There is considerable Buddhist "morality" conveyed as well, which is perfectly handled by the monks who made this film, but not in a heavy-handed way. In fact, one would need a Buddhist background to recognize the point-blank Dharma lessons contained within. This is something that could be viewed and enjoyed by anyone, including non-Buddhists. Finally, there is a most excellent documentary about the historical Milarepa as bonus material. Herein the viewer will get the full picture with regards to who the main character is as well clear and well-explained Buddhist thought on the same.
Highly recommended to everyone and of special interest to those with a leaning towards Buddhist thought.
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SEQUEL UPDATE: The sequel is to be released in late 2009 (although somehow I feel it will be more like 2010).
The working title is THE MEETING WITH MAIPA.
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When his well-to-do merchant father died, Milarepa's uncle and aunt took all the family's wealth, suddenly thrusting Milarepa and his mother into poverty. His mother plots revenge by sending Milarepa away to study sorcery. Milarepa comes back to the village and causes a violent lightning storm to kill many people.
When the villagers chase him, Milarepa causes large rocks to fall from a ridge blocking their way. As he escapes Milarepa meets an old monk, and learns of Buddha's teachings. Milarepa returns to his sorcery teacher, who advises him to study with Marpa. The film ends with Milarepa seeking Marpa.
The landscape is stark and beautiful. The special effects are quite well done - I especially liked the scene where Milarepa gains mastery in sorcery, a bit like a Pink Floyd psychedelic trip from the 60s. My favourite scene was when Milarepa meets an old monk while escaping from the villagers, and sits quietly with old Buddhist paintings all around him on the wall. You can feel that his redemption is at hand.
As companions to this movie, I highly recommend reading a book about his life such as The Magnificent Trickster - The Story Of Milarepa by Molly MacGregor, and some of his teachings like in the book Milarepa: Songs On The Spot by Nicole Riggs.
Back to the film:
The scenery is breathtaking, and the actors and acting, oh my, wonderful! So refreshing! A wonderful message as a reminder to all especially during these crazy times.
I like others was left yearning for Part 2 and searched all over the net. Well I contacted Cinequest Inc. via their website contact on June 16, 2014 and their response:
"Thank you for your email. We are glad that you enjoyed the movie! A lot of people have inquired about the sequel and unfortunately the news is still the same. The producers had full intentions on creating a second film, but have not been able to get past pre-production yet. We are not sure what the status of the sequel is. Sorry for the bad news. We are looking forward to seeing the sequel as well!"
Have a great day!
That said, I must admit that this movie was extraordinarily well done. It is not incredible by Hollywood standards and it has the distinctive feel of a heavy foreign film, so if you are expecting something different then look elsewhere. However, it is great for what it is: a subtle story that is meant to reflect elements of human nature and Tibetan culture. The movie does not rely heavily on special effects, violence, or even music, rather it is interaction between actors and the natural background that allow the movie to express its messages. There are periods of silence throughout many scenes, something that I appreciated because I felt it added a necessary depth to the dialogue - at the same time, if you do not care for silence based conversations it could be a downside to the film. There are a few scenes that people often criticized for taking away the naturalness of the movie by using special effects but I did not feel that they worsened the film: they were kept to a minimum, weren't focused on, and personally I cannot imagine the film without them. The thing I liked most about the movie was the film location and the authenticity that it had.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic movie!!!! Please make part two!!! I pray someone will fund the rest of the story!Published 19 days ago by Amazon Customer
Wonderful, beautiful movie. I'm so sorry that he never made the 2nd half which is a great shame. This movie is a treasure and is really a perfect movie.Published 8 months ago by Senor Nahual
My wife and I are trying to watch one film from every country on the planet, at a rate of one film a month and going in alphabetical order of countries. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Mike Ralls
Seeking an inspiring spiritual movie, I rented Milarepa. I was familiar with the story of Milarepa (the murderer/sorcerer who repented and underwent severe trials to obtain... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Jumping Mouse
It was delivered in good time and I was very happy with the product. Thanks.Published 11 months ago by Arlene Manuel
Really enjoyed this film. Disappointed that Part 2 has never been released. Just keeps you hanging.
Would love to know the whole story.