Saturday, March 1, 2008
Siddhartha, adapted from the famous novel by Hermann Hesse, follows the spiritual quest of Siddhartha (Shashi Kapoor), a restless young Brahmin of India who leaves home to find inner peace. The son of a wealthy family, Siddhartha first renounces his possessions and wanders the country as a pilgrim, then indulges in sexual pleasure (with lovely Simi Garewal) and material success, but none of these things gives him what he yearns for. Finally, working as a ferryman across a river, he finds a way of being that calms his spirit. What keeps Siddhartha from being a stilted Cliff Notes version of a literary classic is the gorgeous cinematography of Sven Nykvist, who has worked with Ingmar Bergman, Woody Allen, Roman Polanski, and Louis Malle, among others. His careful eye gives Siddhartha a look that transforms its philosophical searching into a visual poem.