FILM REVIEW – MONGOL (2007)
Mongol is a Russian movie based on
the early life of Genghis Khan, founder of Mongol Empire. The movie is a visual
spectacle. The landscape is just drop dead gorgeous, and the costuming is
brilliant. If you just like looking at broad expanses of land with no trees and
billowing green grass, or snowy drifts, and lovely sunsets, then this film is
for you. And blood and guts fighting action for when the scenery gets a little
There are some logic flaws in the movie, i.e Temudgin falls through ice on a
lake but the movie doesn’t show how he is saved. I guess I put up with the
logic flaws because I fell in love with the visual environment.
This movie is inspiring. It is the
story of an underdog who overcomes and rises to the top, based loosely enough
on real history to substantiate any inspiration. It has a tone of supernatural
to it, adding to its impact but keeps that to a very subtle minimum; just the
right amount to be believable given the general mystique of the East and its
monks and their beliefs.
The movie starts in 1192 where
Temudgin (Genghis Khan) is a prisoner in the Tangut kingdom. We see him having
flashbacks about his earlier life. Twenty years ago, Temudgin and his father
Yesugai are shown selecting his wife. Temudgin has an eye on Borte and he
convinces his father to let him choose her and promises to return to marry her
later. On the way home, his father is poisoned and Temudgin is taken hostage.
He doesn’t get killed because Mongols cannot kill children.
After falling through ice of a
lake, he is found by Jamukha who becomes his blood brother by a traditional
ceremony. Temudgin is again captured by Targutai, the guy who poisoned his
father, but escapes again.
We see Temudgin as a young man
after 14 years. He is again caught by Targutai who wants to kill him since he
no longer a child. He escapes for the second time and finds Borte. They get
attacked by the Merkit. Börte is captured by the Merkit leader, as Temudgin
returns safely to his family. He asks Jamukha for help and rescues Borte. After
that he fights Jamukha and loses.
Temudgin leaves his family after realizing
the loss of traditional values in Mogol society and pledges to make the Mongols
abide by the law. Visiting a holy site in the mountains, Temüjin prays to “The
Lord of the Great Blue Sky” and declares three rules by which Mongols
must live: never kill women and children, always honor your promises and repay
your debts, and never betray your Khan.
He then gathers an army to unify
all of the Mongols, and declares war over Jamukha. He defeats Jamukha and
allows him to live while Targutai is killed by his own soldiers The traitorous
men are ordered to be executed by Temüjin (as they betrayed their Khan).
Jamukha’s surviving troops are spared and integrated into Temudjin’s army.