Mongol (2007)

The man who would be king.  This is the tale of a slave who would rise to become one of the most feared conquerors the world has ever known.

The true tale of Genghis Khan, this film chronicles his life from fleeing into exile after seeing his father killed to rising to become one of the greatest conquerors in history and a hero to the Mongol people.

The story moves along at a nice pace, although the narrative jumps over some fairly important pieces of the story, making it seem as though, after each setback, young Temudjin is able to simply return to the steppe and round up another mighty army out of thin air.  His character is complex and his code of honor complicated (or simply ignored when it suits him, that is for the viewer to decide), but he never falters in his quest to become the greatest leader Mongolia has ever known.

Artistically, the film is brilliant.  The landscapes, the cinematography, even the pacing and flow of the battles – which are few enough to allow for the story to develop at its own pace, without becoming one battle highlight reel after another.  The characters are delightfully complex and even secondary characters have definite roles in advancing the story.

The action is sporadic and at times it can be hard to keep up to speed with what is going on – some more exposition would be nice at times – but, on the whole, this is a film that both history buffs and film buffs will appreciate.

Stars: 3.5/5


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