Clumsy and comical (in retrospect) ‘90s vision of west/materialistic meets east/buddhist, Little Buddha follows two timelines:
- reenactment of the story of Indian prince Siddhartha (acted by an oh-so-young Keanu Reeves) who, with the help of terribly silly CGI, turns into Buddha;
- story of a group of monks arriving at the door of an 8 year old Seattle boy, believing he might be the reincarnation of a passed-away Lama. This being the ‘90s, I have a special dent against NOT a single reference to Nirvana or grunge what so ever, wtf, Bertolucci?
In spite of the last argument, the level of depth in exploring concepts and ideas is grunge-appropriate, meaning it is shallow and silly. The young boy’s parents - Chris Isaac & Bridget Fonda - show little curiosity in what the colourful monks say or want. But in this case silliness brings lightness - the kind that is rapidly transforming into a guilty pleasure. It’s silly entertainment - Home Alone & Beethoven kind - with some pretentious polish.
“The West” is colour-coded in overblown blue tones and is filled with suspended trains and modern day problems, bankruptcies and suicides. “The East” is all colourful and filled with smiles. Which, why hide it, it’s true, right? 🙂
The style screams of ‘90s vibes, the costumes, the hopes, the way the characters relate to modernity and social emancipation.