I am not entirely sure yet (let me know if you find any sacrificed lamb suddenly cropping up around town), but I think I've been initiated into a cult by watching Mantra. If not that, then I have absolutely no idea what I've just witnessed.
However, my duty is to do my best to explain it (I would hate to have to piece together the synopsis for the box!), if nothing else. Mantra is about a group of strangers that take a bus to an isolated group of mountain cabins for a spiritual retreat. The rules state - among other things - that they cannot talk to each other, and they also may not pleasure themselves or anyone else. These rules don't apply long, as things take a horrible turn on their very first outing.
Once everyone gets talking, things go from bad to worse. Turns out, most of these people are at the retreat for a reason - for the most part being that they've done something wrong, and want to make up for it by praising Buddha, eating slop, and meditating all day.
O.K., so the plot sounds simple when explained as a package deal, but when viewed in long form, it is extremely confusing to the viewer. I thought I'd watched complicated films before, with lots of twists and turns, but with Mantra, you aren't supposed to understand any of the "twists" (and if you are, and I somehow didn't manage to decipher a single one, then take away my critics license, because I guess I'm just not smart enough to keep doing what I do).
You see, this is one of those psychological thrillers that is lacking in thrills, and overflowing with the fetishistic thoughts of some psychotic people. From Flintstones vitamins to a painted naked woman that just will not stop acting out, I am going to have to deny this invitation into the cult of Mantra, no matter how artistically and prettily filmed it may be.