Release Date: September 7th, 2007 (Cinema Village) by Luminous Velocity Releasing.
The Cast: Orgyen Tobgyal, Kelsang Chukie Tethtong, Jamyang Lodro, Jamyang Nyima, Gimyan Lodro, Dechen Wangmo, Tashi Lhamo, Gonpo, Tsamchoe.
Directed by Neten Chokling Rinpoche.
In Tibetan with subtitles.
BASIC PREMISE: In 11th Century Tibet, Milarepa (Lodro) uses sorcery and black magic to exact revenge on his cruel aunt and uncle.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Although mildly engaging, Milarepa could have been much more engrossing with more emphasis on developing the titular character. At the age of 7, Milarepa, born as Thopaga (Wangmo), lives with his widowed mother (Tethtong) and younger sister (Lamho). His uncle (Gonpo) and aunt (Tsamchoe) force them all to work under their supervision and causes local village people to deride them. When he turns 16, Milarepa, now played by Jamyang Lodro, leaves his village, while encourages by his mother, to learn how to use sorcery and black magic for revenge against his aunt and uncle. Orgyen Tobgyal plays his instructor, Lama, at the school of magic, which is certainly no Hogwarts. Students there learn how to lift stones and other objects with their minds. Itís quite fascinating when Lama teaches him that there are black and white days for everyone, so to speak. The trick is to use black magic during the enemyís white day, although how he can sense that isnít explained too well. Co-writer/director Neten Chokling Rinpoche includes a second act that feels a bit tedious with too many magic lessons until the plot finally picks up when Milarepa uses it for destruction purposesói.e., large rocks rolling down, heavy winds and rain, and lightning. Unfortunately, it would have been much more interesting to explore the aftermath of these events; the scenes following them simply feel too contrived and rushed. Also, the screenplay doesnít give you a well-rounded view of Milarepa simply because the plot relies too much on the cheap special effects rather than the essential character development that would make this much more a powerful and unforgettable story.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Slightly tedious and poor character development.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 4
IN A NUTSHELL: Mildly engaging and fascinating, but slightly tedious with poor character development.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: DVD
The "M" Menu