Comparing In The Name of Buddha, an epic tale of the religious conflict in Sri Lanka, to Culture Club's `The War Song' may seem churlish, but that's the kind of philosophical depth on offer here. As Boy George so wisely put it: ""War, war is stupid and people are stupid"". The difference is, Georgie-boy managed to say it all in three painless minutes. Rajesh Touchriver's film, for all its good intentions, takes two-and-a-half hours.
The plot covers the ongoing plight of the Tamils at the hands of the Sri Lankan army, as told by Siva (Shju), a refugee seeking political asylum at Heathrow. It's a worthy movie, the continuing relevance of the story being obvious, but no amount of political pertinence can make up for the heavy-handed preaching, dreadful dialogue and laughable continuity. And while there are a handful of striking images, there's also some amateurish out-of-focus camera work to contend with. An important tale. A squandered opportunity.