Siddhartha Movie Review
Based on Herman Hesse's novel of the same name, the 1972 film follows the titular Siddhartha (Shashi Kapoor) on his quest for enlightenment as he wanders through a Middle East oddly out of time.
Though he shares his first name was Buddha, Kapoor's character is just a man. In fact, he lists his skills pretty straightforwardly: He can fast, he can wait, and he can think.
Not coincidentally, those same skills are required of the viewer, as Siddhartha's apparently random walk through life yields few answers to the secrets of the universe. Siddhartha woos a lovely courtesan (using that line about the fasting). He gets a job helping out a merchant and soon gets rich. And he does a lot of earthcrossing.
Unfortunately, while Siddhartha's journey is beautiful, it's unrewarding spiritually. Movies have been made, books have been written, and religions have been founded on the notion of reflection leading to inner harmony -- but rarely does that translate well on the screen. Siddhartha's journey is ultimately pretty dull and consists of nothing but wide and confusing circles. And let's be honest -- Siddhartha's kind of a jerk. He's hardly the type of guy you want to lead you to Nirvana.