Monday, October 20, 2008

Mongul

Foreign Film from Russia (aka Mongul: The Rise to Power of Genghis Khan)
Language - Mongolian
Subtitles are in English
Genre - Adventure/Drama/Semi-Historical Biography
Year Released - 2007
Running Time - 125 minutes
Directed by Sergei Bodrov
Written by Sergei Bodrov & Arif Aliyev
Cast Includes:
Tadanobou Asano as Termudjin - who becomes Genghis Khan
Odnyam Odsuren as the young Termudjin
Khulan Chuluun as the wife of Termudjin
Honglei Sun as Jamukha - the Blood-Brother of Termudjin
Rating: 5 Skulls
Plot Summary:

In the 12th, an orphaned young slave named Termudjin escapes from his captors and begins the journey that will lead him to become one of the greatest conquerors the world has ever known.

This is the 1st in a Trilogy that will span the life story of Genghis Khan

Review:

I saw a trailer for this movie, when I was in Seattle, and was hoping to see it on the big screen. Alas, it did not make it into the theatre while I was there, so I had to wait, impatiently for the DVD.

The movie begins, in the year 1171, when Termudjin (who will eventually become Genghis Khan himself) is only 9 years old. At the age of nine, Termudjin is on his way to the Merkit Clan to choose his wife! Once he chooses his wife, he informs her that he will return, in five years, to take her to his home, as his bride.

On his way back home, his father (the Khan/Ruler of his Clan) is poisoned. The clan then erupts into chaos, without a leader, and Termudjin - who is to become Khan is threatened and left alone to survive on his own. (Those who threatened him swear to return, when he is older, to kill him then, rather as a child)

After being orphaned, Termudjin is eventually hunted, imprisoned, and enslaved. He is then subjected to starvation and humiliation, until he escapes, with the help of another, who then becomes his blood-brother. Termudjin then returns to the Merkit Clan to claim his wife.

I do not know how accurate this movie is to the actual life of Termudjin, but it is different than I would have thought. This movie shows a strong, compassionate side to the Genghis Khan that History tells us about.

The cinematography is this movie is absolutely amazing! It is one of those movies where, watching it, it is as if you are looking out through a window.

I do not want to tell you the entire movie, just know that it is indeed a sprawling epic. This movie is just setting the stage, for what is to come. If the 2nd and 3rd movies in this planned trilogy are even half as good as this one. . . I can't even imagine. . .

Tadanobou Asano is the Perfect Genghis Khan!


After Termudjin leaves his blood-brother's clan, to start his own, some of his blood brother's clan decides to leave with Termudjin, which causes just a little animosity between the two. When the actual brother of Jamukha (Termudjin's blood-brother) is accidentally killed by one of Termudjin's men, it starts a war between the two clans.

It is around this time (I believe the year was around 1196) when Termudjin realizes that all Monguls need laws - even if he has to kill half of the Monguls to enforce them! He creates simple laws: Do not kill women or children. Do not forget your debts. Fight your enemy to the end. Never betray your Khan. Termudjin plans to unite all of the Monguls, to make them strong, by becoming Khan of the Mongul Empire. Though his blood-brother's army is larger, Termudjin uses strategy. . .

Greatness comes to those who take it!

This movie ends, in the year 1206, with Termudjin becoming Khan of all of the Monguls - forever known as Genghis Khan. I so cannot wait for the other two movies in this trilogy!!

Let me leave you with a Mongolian Proverb:

Do not scorn a weak cub.
He may become the brutal tiger.

Jason

4 comments:

jessi1974 said...

Awesome! You will be proud to note I switched to Netflix last week, so this will be added to the ever-growing list. Sounds like a great flick! Any idea on a timeline for the 1st sequel?

thebonebreaker said...

Awwwwwesome!!! ;-)
You are going to love Netflix - no worries!

I wish that I knew - They should have filmed the trilogy back-to-back like The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and have parts 2 & 3 come out in '09 and '10. That would have been cool. Honestly though, I have no clue :-(

J

Bearded Weirdo Reviews said...

Very interesting. I didn't really know about this film until the Critics' Choice Awards nominees were announced, with this film among them in the Best Foreign Film category. I was instantly interested. The way it is now, I'm something of a History Channel addict, and I like the idea of a movie about Khan, being that he's the typical, traditional kind of historical figure that gets tapped for this kind of filmic treatment.

thebonebreaker said...

William,

I thought it was great, and I hope they finish filming the others!

Be sure to let me know your thoughts, after you have seen it!

J