Stunning visual imagery takes the viewer on a surreal journey around the world, from the common to the exotic, in a trance-like experience in the new film, Samsara.
One of the most unusual and most difficult to describe movies I’ve ever seen has to be Samsara. This film, from a director known (perhaps that’s too strong a word) for two similar but less expansive efforts, is something else. First of all, there’s no dialogue what-so-ever. The emphasis is on the imagery which was shot using advanced equipment and techniques that are immediately captivating to the eye.
I sat transfixed by the images presented and, at first, wasn’t sure I’d find it interesting. Then, as the movie continued on I realized I was spellbound and fascinated by the experience. Some of the myriad of images seem entirely other-worldly or even graphical recreations (but aren’t). So many seemed disconnected with any world I’ve known or seen in any other medium.
Your senses come alive in the opening sequences. However, just before I reached the point of complete acquiescence, the film suddenly took a harsh turn into far less interesting territory.
The previews are careful in the images they tease. I was given the initial impression that this would be a film about the most unusual and extraordinary places and people on earth. That isn’t the case and it wasn’t the point at all it turns out. It all started off that way and then we get this entirely unwelcome and totally incomprehensible scene involving a single person in a small room dressed in a suit and tie who proceeds to change the entire tenor of the film. Then we get chickens, pigs and cows in a slaughter house followed by guns and more suggesting a very political motivation that I don’t think was intended. Look at the five images in the poster. None are anywhere near what I just described.
Finally the movie returns to the wonder of the world once again and the viewer can relax and settle back into the awe I thought would permeate the entire endeavor.
The score is well done and helps the mesmerizing effect to great degree.
What’s the point of the film? I have no idea. I simply wish the producers would have stuck to the dream-like imagery that had everyone in the theater gaping with astonishment and wonder and left the more stark, less interesting tidbits, on the cutting room floor.