Apparently, this was the first film ever shot in Bhutan. As far as I'm concerned, that's like saying this was the first film shot in my backyard or the first film shot where the cinematographer always had a cheese sandwich in his mouth. I don't consider myself geographically ignorant, but if you had asked me what a Bhutan was prior to seeing this film, I would have said a species of mountain gorilla or a piece of furniture. Where the hell is Bhutan anyway? Was I supposed to get up in the middle of the film to go find an atlas?
Directed and written by a Buddhist monk named Khyentse Norbu, "The Cup" is about a Tibetan monastery in India where one of the young trainee monks is fascinated by soccer and sneaks out of the monastery with some of the other monks-in-training to catch the World Cup. After they're kicked out of the closest place with a television, the young monk comes up with a plan to bring the World Cup to the monastery, which requires a whole lot of negotiation since the eldest monk hasn't even heard of soccer and there's never been a television on the grounds.
What supposedly makes "The Cup" that "heartwarming experience you'll never forget" is that the young monk learns to place the needs of others ahead of himself right in the middle of watching the final between France and Brazil. I'm guessing that as the film says "based on actual events" Norbu took some serious liberties with the truth because I bet that young monk learned to be concerned with the needs of others shortly after the game was over. And that would make Norbu a chubby little Buddhist liar.
I think the point of this film was that living in a Buddhist monastery is so unbelievably boring that, by comparison, soccer is exciting. Do you know how boring something has to be for soccer to be exciting? If so, you get some idea for how much energy I had to expend staying awake through "The Cup."
To spread the word about this The Cup review on Twitter.To get instant updates of Mr. Cranky reviews, subscribe to our RSS feed.