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Siddhartha (1972)

Herman Hesse’s 1922 novel is brought to the screen with the reverence of a true devotee by American writer/director Conrad Rooks.

However, such is the unquestioning dogmatism of the screenplay, the lushness of Sven Nykvist’s Indian landscapes and the stylised earnestness of Bollywood icon Shashi Kapoor in the title role that instead of a moving journey to spiritual enlightenment, this comes across as a glossy promo for Buddhism, in which self-discovery is trampled underfoot by clumsy symbolism.

Bypassing life in its quest for significance, this is an airless adaptation of an obdurate text.

Siddhartha
Shashi Kapoor
Kamala
Simi Garewal
Govinda
Romesh Sharma
Kamaswami
Pincho Kapoor
Vasudeva
Zul Vellani

Director
Conrad Rooks