Scorsese returns to an image that runs like a current through his filmography: that of a removed, isolated man, watching the world from the outside. Retooling The Last Temptation of Christ for Buddhism, Kundun is a highly visual movie, made with a palpable respect for the culture and art of another land. Scorsese once said he loved how Renoir's The River just "flowed" from moment to moment. Here, he proves it.
One of Marty's underrated films. While it isn't a great biopic, feeling more like a series of moments, the film comes together into a cohesive whole of a nation in turmoil & a man's burden to stay true to his beliefs. While the acting is surprisingly good, Scorsese succeeds again with a great use of voiceover, which shows the character of who the Dalai Lama is rather than it being an excuse for bad writing.
An underrated piece of work. Beautiful, poetic and at times (surprisingly) graphically violent. The idea of God incarnate in flesh is dealt with interestingly (and I assume a chief reason Scorsese did the film). The child actors at times stumble, but overall a very interesting film. Proves Scorsese's films don't have to be about gangsters or male frustations to be great.
Kundun is in no way a profound meditation on faith. Here, Scorsese, contrary to his usual self, doesn't doubt or explore. Here he admires. This is not a contradiction either. However doubtful Scorsese might be he is no atheist. In Kundun he examines the buddhist faith without embracing or renouncing it. His detachment leads to his emptiest yet most visually poetic film. Its worth lies in its magnificent form.