Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mongol (2007)

     Sergei Bodrov's seemingly revisionist (I am not particularly strong on Temujin's personal history, but much of this version feels different and arbitrarily changed from what I have read) take on Genghis Khan features beautiful cinematography, well-done (if not breathtaking) effects, and fine acting. The story is told in a somewhat haphazard manner, leaving out many important moments -- I'm supposing these would appear later in the trilogy -- in order to focus on "Temudjin" the man who is dominated by his "love" for his bride. I clearly did not understand some of the imagery, but I don't think that affected my appreciation for the look of the film.
     I was disappointed with Bodrov's direction and Staenberg & Óskarsdóttir's editing, making a film that could have at once been both a sweeping epic and intimate portrait (into the driving forces behind one of the world's most successful warlords) into a lumbering, too-modern feeling homage to a figure largely unexamined even as he was being presented. I would probably give the next movie a chance, but I am hoping for tighter storytelling.

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