Smile Politely

Milarepa: It’s not a bad movie

I finished watching The Search, which was a slow but satisfying movie, one that I was expecting to be bored by (but thankfully, was not) and began Milarepa, which I was expecting to be fast-paced and interesting and instead, was not.

Another title for this movie could have been The Forging of Milarepa. I felt, and forgive me for sounding incredibly Western with my statement, that I was watching the missing years of Jesus’ life. You know, the ones that got skipped until he in his early 30s? That’s what this is. Well, that’s what this is if Jesus had sworn his life to vengeance and then had a change of heart at 33. It’s the epic backstory of what made this legendary character the phenomenal yogi and poet that he was.

Milarepa is not a bad movie. It just felt like same ol’, same ol’ to me. I knew, the entire time, where this linear movie was going. It progresses in a straight line that is spelled out the whole way. And it seemed like the main character has, perhaps, 10 lines, and delivers them straight from cue cards off screen. As my group left the theatre that day, all we could say was, “Well, guess we can’t change any karma here…” “Predetermined” seems the word of the day with this movie, which is fine, but always a little tragic. Milarepa does what he has to do, and everything happens as you know it’s going to. He hurts a lot of people, and then he realizes that vengeance isn’t totally awesome.

I feel like the sequel to this film might be really good, because I wished, as he laid his sacrifice down on the altar (a token from his lost love) that the camera would follow him as he strives to change the karma that he and his mother had accumulated that had caused their suffering. His mentor tells him that it’s hard to change the cycle, but he is determined to do so, and I think that story would be incredibly interesting, so I will have to check out the sequel.

This first one though, at 90 minutes, is interesting enough, but don’t expect any surprises. Evidently, there was a sequel released last year (according to the end of the first film), but I could find it nowhere online, so perhaps it is still in-production.

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