Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Movie Review: Mongol

Period: Early Medieval period - 1172 to 1207 - Life of Genghis Khan

Synopsis: Mongol is the first movie in a projected trilogy about the life of Genghis Khan. The movie first picks up when the then Temüjin was enslaved and imprisoned by a Chinese garrison captain. He receives a then cryptic message from a young monk that sets the stage for the rest of the story. The movie then goes back 20 years when Temüjin was 10 years old, and tells of his escapades and romance with Börte. It also touches on his personality and eventual conflicts with his blood brother Jamuka and eventual rise as uniter of the various Mongol tribes, where the movie ends.

Overall opinion: I found that I had to get into the rhythm of this movie before I started to piece things together to enjoy it. But when it picked up its legs, it was a compelling movie to watch. The movie does err a bit on the side of the romantic and escapade side of things, and doesn't really attempt to explain what made Temüjin such a great leader of men. As a viewer, I was a little bit unsatisfied, but I'm willing to hang on for the other movies to see if Temüjin's leadership traits more fully explained. Overall, it is a beautiful movie with some good battle sequences.

Good reenactor film?: I would call this a good reenactor chick-flick. Enough romance for the loves of our lives, but enough of the exciting bits for the manly men. Past that, it doesn't dwell too much on the military, but the clothing seems to be acceptable, although I don't know enough to definitely say it's authentic to the period. You will get an insight on Mongol tribal life and language, which again, may be a precursor to a deeper understanding of the other movies projected to come out. The battle scenes weren't fully explained, and I question the accuracy. Some of the fight scenes were a bit over the top, so nothing there for a reenactor to use.

How does it stack up?: This movie has the potential to be a classic, but the other movies have to come out to seal the deal for me. It's a good historical flick, but to me, it jumps around in time too much, and leaves a lot of questions unanswered. These questions may be answered in the course of the other movies projected to come out, so I'm reserving judgement till then. But now, I think it's a movie worth spending some time with.

If you want to see about more movies, check out my old blog, "War Moovies".

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