Political Film Society - Mongol

PFS Film Review


MongolThe biopic Mongol begins in 1192 at a critical time of Genthis Khan’s life, when he is imprisoned in a border town, then immediately flashes back to 1172 when at the age of 9 under the name Temudgin (played by Odnyam Odsuren), his tribal leader father Esugei (played by Ba Sen) is poisoned by the rival Merkit clan but he is spared because of his youth just after he is betrothed to aggressive 10-year-old Borte (played by Bayertsetseg Erdenbat). A few years later, he is captured by the Merkits but released by youthful shepherd Jamukha (played by Amarbold Tuvinbayar), and the two pledge to be brothers. When Jamukha in time rises in power, Temudgin (now played by Asano Tadanobu) gathers some of Jamukha’s followers because of his magnanimity after a successful battle. Later captured, Temudgin is sold as a slave until an older Borte (now played by Khulan Chuluun) comes to rescue him. But now the brothers are rivals and command battles against each other until 1206, when Temudgin is victorious over Jamukha (played as an adult by Honglei Sun) and unites all Mongol clans under his leadership in 1206. The film ends despite the trailer that appears to hint that the film will feature the apogée of Mongol rule, which eventually extended into India, Mesopotamia, Russia, and Eastern Europe. Why, under the new nom de guerre Genghis Khan, such success? Although Jamukha credits him with clever military strategy, the former illiterate orphan and slave appears to have appealed on the basis of a sense of justice, including a belief that women and children should be spared from death in war. Directed by Sergei Bodrov, filmviewers awed by the epic Mongol and the breathtaking cinematography of the steppes of Inner Mongolia and Kazakhstan will eagerly await two planned sequels. MH

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