Martin Scorsese should stick to what he knows: the mafia. "Kundun," the story of the 14th Dalai Lama, has all the insight of a Palestinian doing a film on the Old Testament. For God's sake, I could shoot heroin and still take a camera to Tibet and make the scenery look good, which in my mind, is not a qualification for getting a "Best Cinematography" nomination.
Mostly this film is slow and boring. There are no bloody shoot 'em ups. There are no guys getting shoved into trunks of cars. There are no large-breasted women taking unnecessary showers. There are no monster truck races. The Dalai Lama never turns to one of his advisors and says: "Am I funny to you? Do I amuse you?" and then pretend to flip out before finally laughing it up to reveal his friendly, if somewhat deranged, demeanor.
No, the story details the discovery of the fourteenth reincarnation of the Dalai Lama in 1937 and his rise to adulthood during the Chinese occupation of Tibet. This leads to the Lama's escape from Tibet into India which ends the film, leaving us where we are today, with no real idea of what's happening with the Lama.
Scorsese is trying so hard these days to win himself an Oscar that he's taken to making "important" films like his buddy Steven Spielberg. Marty, tell a story. Stop trying to be important. First of all, this is a story without an ending. It's not finished yet. Even an elementary school student knows that you don't turn your assignment into the teacher before you've figured out how it ends.
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