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Phantom Movie Reviews: Mongol

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Movie: Mongol, a Russian offering now playing at the Fargo. This is a very different movie about the early life of Genghis Khan, apparently filmed in Mongolia or some similar place in Mongolian (well, it sure wasn't Russian or English) and fully and well subtitled.
The movie follows the life of Genghis Khan as a youth (that wasn't his name then), his wife and his blood brother who becomes his mortal enemy. The movie is slow-paced, violent and cruel. I've run into this before: life on the Mongolian steppes was, I'm sure, slow-paced, violent and cruel so perhaps the movie is just being accurate.
I found the portrayal of the Khan's early life, which wasn't always pleasant, and life in Mongolia in what I believe to be the twelfth century, fascinating. It might not be fun to watch, and many may not enjoy watching it, although the sweeping shots of vast landscapes should impress just about anybody.
One thing I found interesting, and no doubt accurate, was the absence of the famous Mongol hordes except in a few scenes. Most people, it seems, lived in little hamlets of 3 or 4 yurts (a Mongol ti-pi). Also interesting to me was the role religion played both in the story line and in life in general.

From a historical perspective, this was a fascinating, well-made screen play, but just about anyone would find themselves waiting for something to happen in an least some points. There's probably not enough action here to satisfy those seeking an action-packed thriller, but the movie isn't trying to appeal to that audience.


As Drama: B
As Action Thriller: C
As Historical Depiction: A
As Romance: B-
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Cast and Credits
Starring: Tadanobu Asano, Khulan Chuluun, Sun Honglei, Odnyam Odsuren, Pai Ying (II)
Directed by: Sergei Bodrov
Produced by: Bulat Galimgereyev, Sergei Selyanov, Anton Melnik

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