September 16, 2008

I just watched Sergei Bodrov’s Mongol.

Honestly, I’m still digesting it, but I think it may be underrated. Sure, it won the Nika award for just about everything, and got some acclaim otherwise (Oscar nomination, Best Foreign Language Film), but there wasn’t a lot of press for it here in the US. In such a strong group of entrants for 2008, it holds it own in the company of Beaufort and Die Falsher, and certainly was far stronger than Katyn (although still a very good movie. I can’t say anything for 12, as I haven’t seen it yet). The movie was strong in every element that it chose to pursue, but the love story (even to this fairly cynical guy) was excellent.

All in all, it’s a great story about Temujin’s (Genghis Khan) rise to becoming the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire. It follows his early years and hardships along the way, ending at his consolidation of power within Mongolia itself. It paints a portrait that is uncommon when dealing with a character that is regarded as a ruthless barbarian–affectionate, intelligent, and honorable.

One of the best parts of the movie? Khulan Chuluun. For a guy, she made it worth watching no matter if it had been a musical adaptation of Steel Magnolias. Absolutely Beautiful. She puts the ogle in Mongol (even though it’s not in Mongol…errr…umm…). But, on a more serious note, the cinematography was first rate. The scenes are all visually poetic, and it is very apparent that a lot of time and effort must have gone into picking locations.

See Die Falsher first, if you haven’t already, but definitely put Mongol on your list. It’s worth the watch.


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