The Fast Forward Revue

Quickie Film Review: Mongol by gaohippy
July 15, 2008, 6:41 pm
Filed under: Author: gaoalexander, Cinema | Tags: , ,
Genghis Khan's troubling childhood.

Genghis Khan's troubling childhood.



Fast Forward Rating: FF (2 out of 5)



Mongol. Everything about this film cries, “Oscar, here I come!”. This is a film that was nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar, directed by an Oscar-nominated director. The script is more epic than that of Saving Private Ryan or 300, telling the story of Temüjin, known to the world as Genghis Khan, the man responsible for uniting all Mongols under a silly, albeit unified legal code. Critics laud the film, the photography is nothing short of spectacular, and yet… it doesn’t sit with me. The film’s structure is composed of dozens of plot points that lack a strong sense of causality, and as writer/director Sergei Bodrov concedes, the lack of recorded Mongol culture that would have served as the main intrigue of the story meant plugging gaping holes in history with corks of his imagination.

Characters lack development and while their generally stoic expressions provide some insight into Mongol culture in general, it is hard to mine much more information from the performances. Genghis Khan was not necessarily someone to be loved, or even liked for that matter, but it is especially difficult to get into this film considering none of the characters are particularly likable. Bodrov seems to struggle with temporal aspects of storytelling, leading to abrupt transitions, unexplained character transformations, and a deflation of overall suspense. I commend him for his efforts and for his ability to stretch $20 million so far, but overall, I can only consider Mongol to be a flop, much like the late PICTUREHOUSE, the company that picked it up.




2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

very interesting review, i like how you talk about the oscar buzz and then changed the tone completely to talk about what could have been better, it’s very unique and honest.

(one thing you should perhaps change: put the rating under the title as opposed to at the end of the column, i’m pretty sure the rest on the site are like that)

Comment by kswitz


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The club strives to bring people in arts, cinema, literature, music and theater across the world together on a common platform, where they can share their thoughts, opinions, and interact with each other.
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Comment by Samakshi

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