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Upon his birth, it is foreseen that Ahimsaka (Nopachai Jayanama) will
become a violent bandit, so he is brought to a Brahmin temple to study
to attain the Dharmic core, but since hi teacher also foresees his
violent future, he is only assigned to the lowest of tasks, that of a
sheepherder. But even there he witnesses violence, be it a bandit
threatening him with his sword, be it his sheep being slaughtered at the
market, or soldiers preparing to kill an untouchable. When his teacher
expells his young wife Nandha (Stella Malucchi) though, & she wants
to take her own life, he saves her, only for the 2 to be threatened by
the teacher's soldiers & barely escaping with their lives.
Ahimsaka has a divine apparition that tells him, to attain the Dharmic
core, he must slaughter 1000 bandits, which Ahimsaka has no hesitation
of doing, keeping count by cutting the thumbs off their corpses &
wearing them as a necklace, hence being called Angulimala (necklace of
fingers). Angulimala's interpretation of who is a killer soon
becomes more & more deliberate though, as he soon starts killing anyone of
the wrong faith, too., & later, after he killed one of his former
fellow students who griefed over the death of his wife, anyone who has
pain in his heart, not even stopping at killing his own teacher. When
Nandha, who stayed with him through all the time, finds out that he is
not a mere banditkiller but a mass murderer, tries to poison herself
& him, since they both have pain in their heart, but Angulimala can
save himself just in time & is now more determined than ever to
make his killings a full 1000 to attain the Dharmic core & bring her
back to life.
Only 1 kill away from that number & already aiming his
arrow at his final victim (who, unbeknowest to him, is his mother), he
has another divine appartion though, in form of a bhikkhu monk, who
finally makes him realize th error of his ways, & when doing so, he
gives up his goal of attaining the Dharmic core by killing but becomes a
bhikkhu monk himself, from now on answering the aggression brought
against him with non-violence & compassion, at the end of his
lifespan telling a young sheepherder not to follow the road who he is
predestined to, since he himself went the path of violence only because
in some way everybody made him to.
At times very stark &
brutal adaptation of a Buddhist legend (though taking some liberties upon it),
coming across as a mix of religious fantasy & all-out gore movie.
Quite interesting as it is, though definitely no mastepiece.