Sunday, December 5, 2010

Kiss the Sky (1998) [R] ****

Two West Coast businessmen, Jeff (William L. Petersen) and Marty (Gary Cole), have been friends since their college days. Now, twenty years later, they both feel depressed and trapped in their lives, burdened with wives, children, houses, mortgages and dead-end jobs. In the midst of their mid-life crises they decide to escape to the Philippines, ostensibly to manage a construction project in Manila. Upon their arrival, the exotic Far East begins to transform them. They immerse themselves in pleasures of the flesh, and soon they meet a lovely young woman named Andrea (Sheryl Lee) and a wise Zen Buddhist monk named Kozen (Terence Stamp). Ultimately they find an island paradise where they decide to build a retreat.

Unfortunately, human imperfection guarantees that any paradise on Earth will not long remain unspoiled. As the monk Kozen observes, inner peace cannot be found in the external world of fleeting experiences of the senses, but only by transcending the outer world... by turning within in meditation. For anyone who has ever gone, or yearned to go, on a spiritual quest in search of himself and the meaning of life, this film will reawaken poignant memories. The final message of the film is that it does not matter whether we choose the path of the householder - the family man, or the path of the monk - the recluse. We can transcend the world and experience inner spiritual growth through either path. We only need to take the first step on the journey.

Labels: drama, romance

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