Cinema: Quick Cuts

SIDDHARTHA is set in the India of 25 centuries ago, but it has the contemporary familiarity of a quickie weekend at Esalen. Hermann Hesse's novel has been adapted with stuporous devotion by Conrad Rooks, who in 1967 unleashed Chappaqua, a shambling phantasmagoria of the hallucinatory world of alcoholism and drug addiction. His skills have become no sharper in the intervening years. Siddhartha (Shashi Kapoor), as any campus sophomore would know, spends the better part of his lifetime beating the bushes in search of spiritual insight and fulfillment. It is a hard job achieving...

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