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Little Buddha (1993)

PG | | Drama | 25 May 1994 (USA)
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After the death of Lama Dorje, Tibetan Buddhist monks find three children - one American and two Nepalese - who may be the rebirth of their great teacher.

Writers:

Bernardo Bertolucci (story), Rudy Wurlitzer (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keanu Reeves ... Siddhartha
Ruocheng Ying Ruocheng Ying ... Lama Norbu (as Ying Ruocheng)
Chris Isaak ... Dean Conrad
Alex Wiesendanger Alex Wiesendanger ... Jesse Conrad
Raju Lal Raju Lal ... Raju
Greishma Makar Singh Greishma Makar Singh ... Gita
Sogyal Rinpoche Sogyal Rinpoche ... Kenpo Tenzin
Ven. Khyongla Rato Rinpoche Ven. Khyongla Rato Rinpoche ... Abbot
Bridget Fonda ... Lisa Conrad
Ven. Geshe Tsultim Gyelsen Ven. Geshe Tsultim Gyelsen ... Lama Dorje
Jo Champa ... Maria
Jigme Kunsang Jigme Kunsang ... Champa
Thubtem Jampa Thubtem Jampa ... Punzo
Surekha Sikri ... Sonali (as Surehka Sikri)
T.K. Lama T.K. Lama ... Sangay
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Storyline

Lama Norbu comes to Seattle in search of the reincarnation of his dead teacher, Lama Dorje. His search leads him to young Jesse Conrad, Raju, a waif from Kathmandu, and an upper class Indian girl. Together, they journey to Bhutan where the three children must undergo a test to prove which is the true reincarnation. Interspersed with this, is the story of Siddharta, later known as the Buddha. It traces his spiritual journey from ignorance to true enlightenment. Written by Samantha Santa Maria <TE7441667@ntuvax.ntu.ac.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A magical journey to a place where the past and the present meet.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Liechtenstein | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 May 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lille Buddha See more »

Filming Locations:

Bhutan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$873,983, 30 May 1994

Gross USA:

$4,858,139

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,858,139
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Digital (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Eric Stoltz was considered for the role of Dean Conrad. See more »

Goofs

Early in the movie, when Kenpo and the 3 other Tibetan monks are driving north on the top level of WA-99 the movie cuts to a separate shot of the same group now traveling north on Interstate-5 and then again south on the lower level of the WA-99 viaduct. However, as the scene continues, the group ends up atop the Queen Anne neighborhood, which is a northern part of Seattle. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lama Norbu: Once upon a time, in a village in ancient India, there was a little goat and a priest. The priest wanted to sacrifice the goat to the gods. He raised him arm to cut the goat's throat, when suddenly the goat began to laugh. The priest stopped, amazed, and asked the goat, "why do you laugh? Don't you know I'm about to cut your throat?" "Oh yes," said the goat. "After 499 times dying and being reborn as a goat, I will be reborn as a human being." Then the little goat began to cry. The...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the very end of the credits, there is a shot of a hand wiping away the sand of the mandala. (Mandalas are brushed away at some point after completion to symbolize Impermanence, one of the tenets of Buddhism). See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood vs. Religion (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Easy On The Eyes But A Little Too Easy On the Mind
2 July 2008 | by alexkolokotronisSee all my reviews

This movie was actually not that bad in fact it had some good parts to it. One major problem though was Keanu Reeves. They are also other glaring and not so glaring problems with this movie.

The acting was adequate throughout except for of course Keanu Reeves. He was not the only one I was not happy with though. Bridget Fonda did not exactly show off anything special either. She was just there nothing great, nothing to horrible just there. Why does she continue to get roles? Is it her name? Her looks? Her acting ability? That is pretty easy its her name. The only thing does she does share with Henry Fonda, Peter Fonda and Jane Fonda is their name definitely not her acting ability.

Then of course there is Keanu Reeves. It is really hard to think of a worse casting move than the casting of Keanu Reeves as Buddha. For action roles or even comedy I do not mind him but for serious roles he is about as bad as you could get. His performance at the beginning I do not have a problem with because Buddha is not yet Buddha he is even less than a narrow minded person. At or towards the end though he is supposed to portray Buddha with depth and meaning, not with superficiality and narrow mindedness. That though is exactly what he does though, he stays an idiot from start to finish. As the movie progresses so does the character of Buddha but not the performance of Keanu. In here he appeared about as selfish and superficial as Buddha was selfless and deep.

The directing should be great, after all Bernardo Bertolucci is directing this. Well at times it was spectacular but it was not consistent. Some of the scenes, especially toward the end were great, the sceneries of the Buddhist temples and ceremonies and one particular conversation involving a monk were amazing. It was like watching the Last Emperor again. Then the scenes with Buddha were just horrible and annoying. That part of the story did not seem to get anywhere, they just seemed to go on and on. That is what should have succeeded not failed especially Bertolucci being the director. That is where Bertolucci failed and failed miserably.

The cinematography was amazing at times as mentioned before. Certain scenes were done very stylistically and well. It did provide some sort of educational importance which is the one thing I was really with this movie. The editing was also pretty bad, it was one of the reasons why some of those scenes felt like forever to get by and why whenever the story was just becoming engaging it had to jump right back to the story of Buddha. The writing was pretty bad but not completely horrible.. The one scene with the monk was great in terms of writing but other than that nothing really memorable. The way the Buddha story was written really made me determine this was a bad script and brought down most of the movie.

This movie should have and could have done better but it did not. Cinematographically wise and directing wise some scenes were down right spectacular and other with Keanu Reeves were just down right horrible. Yet the cinematography was just too amazing even in the story of Buddha that I have to say that this an above average movie. It is a good family movie and a little educational but if you want to watch this alone I would not really recommend it. Very easy on the eyes but just a little to easy on the mind.


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