Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Man's Search for True Happiness (film)

Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven, Crystal Quintero, Wisdom Quarterly; Koch; TheMovieBox.net
(Koch Media Films) What search for happiness would be complete without a visit to a Buddhist hermitage to see the cloistered monastics? Hector has a good time with Tibetans.
Hektor wirft Paris seine Weichlichkeit vor (Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein/J.Steakley)
Old West: Sid rides Kanthaka East
This is a modern retelling of the heroic journey, the story of Prince Siddhartha, who renounced the throne, went East to India in search of wisdom, enlightenment, and true happiness/an end to all suffering (nirvana) for everyone.

Synopsis: Here [Prince] "Hector" (Ἕκτωρ, a figure in Greek mythology) is an eccentric yet irresistible London psychiatrist in crisis. His patients are not getting any happier in therapy. And he's going nowhere.

(AA) "The Buddha" is a 2010 PBS documentary directed by David Grubin and narrated by American actor Richard Gere. The film follows the life story of Siddhartha who became the Buddha and discusses the history and teachings of Buddhism.

Crossing the Indus river/Anoma
Then one day, armed with buckets of courage and a child-like curiosity, he breaks out of his sheltered vacuum of a life into a global quest to find out if true happiness exists. Moreover, does it exists for Hector? 

And so begins a colorful, exotic, dangerous, and hysterical journey. This is not ancient Indo-Scythia/Sakaland and India, it's the West we know and lovehate.

Cutting hair, breaking Kanthaka's heart
The full-length theatrical release is now out called "Hector and the Search for Happiness."

It is a life-affirming dramedy that casts Simon Pegg as the eponymous ("Hector") sad sack who abandons his dull psychiatry career in London for a once-in-a-lifetime trip around the world. 

Travel my son, travel my daughter, for in the world there are wonders -- not the least of which is questioning your once treasured assumptions.
- Dhr. Seven
What did Sid see in wandering?
Rosamund Pike (soon-to-be seen in David Fincher's adaptation of "Gone Girl") co-stars as Hector's sympathetic girlfriend, the Yasodhara/Princess Bimba of the story, who in the Buddhist version of the heroic journey goes on to her own greatness as Bhaddakaccana.

She patiently -- and at times, impatiently -- waits at home while Hector zips from continent to continent in his crazy, personal pursuit of happiness.

One is also reminded of Homer's patient Penelope tediously "weaving" coarse hair into wool on a well worn loom with a shuttlec-ck, an apparent reference to appeasing her natural lust and appetite for an absent husband, waiting on the wandering Odysseus (Ulysses).

Hector brought back to Troy, ancient Greece
Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgard, and Jean Reno round out the supporting cast. While director Peter Chelsom (of "Shall We Dance" and "Serendipity") helms this big-screen adaptation of the international bestselling novel by French psychiatrist-turned-book author Francois Lelord.
The journey will be worth it, thinks Sid
"Hector and the Search for Happiness" opened in the UK in August. Now it has come to the States, opening on September 19th.
Read Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha for a retelling of this story with the main character, Siddhartha (not the Buddha-to-be), as an Indian youth who meets the Buddha on his journey. Or watch the film based on the novel or the 1998 Indian film "Sidhartha" about a Sidharthan.

(Z) "Siddhartha" is based on the classic Hermann Hesse novel that inspired a generation.

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