The Color Trilogy Of Little Buddha Essay

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The Color Trilogy Of Little Buddha Essay, Research Paper The Color Trilogy of Little Buddha In movies, directors will use any device to convey their message. They may use lighting, dialogue, costumes, certain styles of cinematography, or setting choices to guide the audience in a certain direction to understand the meaning behind the film. Bernardo Bertolucci s Little Buddha is a good example of where a director used color symbolism to convey a message to the audience. Bertolucci uses color in every aspect of the film to foreshadow the events that happen later in the movie. This foreshadowing allows the audience to understand the message in a clearer way. Bertolucci s message is that in today s society, the self and the other must become one. If this is reached, than each

individual in that society will become enlightened in there own way and thus lead to a better society and a greater sense of humanity. The film Little Buddha is a film that uses the Tibetan Buddhist monks to be the conveyers of the message. The monks are in search of Lama Dorje, who was a great teacher in the Buddhist religion. They believe that the reincarnation of their late Lama, might be a western boy, Jesse. Since Jesse, his family, and the western audience are unfamiliar with the story of Prince Siddhartha and the Buddhist religion, Bertolucci s uses the monks to tell the story and give hints to the final message of the film. Then the audience finds out there is two more candidates for the reincarnation, so Bertolucci sends Jesse and his father, Dean, along with the monks

to interview the other children. Through the process of the interviews and traveling, the rest of the story of Siddhartha is told and the children have all become friends and almost one person. The film ends in Bhutan where the children are told who is the reincarnation of Lama Dorje, and where the final message is conveyed to the father, the three children and the audience. The major color symbolism throughout the movie is the weaving together of the primary colors of red, green, and blue. In general, combinations of these three colors can make any other color in the color spectrum. Bertolucci uses these colors as dominates in the film. A quick example is that most of the footage of Seattle is shoot with a blue tint, where as Katmandu is primarily red and India is green. This

would suggest that in the end of the film, these three cities must come together somehow to view the world in all its color and truth. The way the story goes, Jesse is the little boy from Seattle. He is the first candidate for the reincarnation of Lama Dorje. He is surrounded by the color blue. Seattle is blue, Jesse s jacket is blue, and his shirts are blue. Jesse is from one part of the world and one culture that most of the audience can relate to. Jesse would represent the self to the audience. Raju, the boy from Katmandu is the first child that is introduced besides Jesse. He is surrounded by the color red. Katmandu is red, the boy s skin is a reddish brown, and his clothes have primarily a reddish tint. Raju is a representative of the other in society. He is different from

Jesse, in that he comes from another culture and has a different set of beliefs. However, he is closer to Jesse than the third child. Raju symbolizes the other in society that is similar to the self, but a little different. This is shown in the movie by the scene in which the gameboy, a device associated with the western child, is played. Gita, the girl from India is the last child to be considered for the reincarnation. She is surrounded in a setting that is primarily green. The trees all around her, the garden, her house and her clothes are dominated by green tints. Gita is also representative of the other in society. She is from another culture and another set of beliefs. However, she is symbolic of the other that is very different from the self. She doesn t relate to Jesse or