DVD Mongol [DVD] (DVD 1372813),
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Subtitled "The Untold Story of the Rise of Genghis Khan," director Sergei Bodrov's sweeping MONGOL focuses on battles physical and emotional as it follows the early ascent of the "Great King" in the 12th and 13th centuries. Born Temudgin to a kingly father, the film introduces the nine-year-old Temudgin (Odnyam Odsuren) making his first fateful decision: going against his father's wishes and choosing the lesser-born Borte as his future wife. When his father is poisoned, Temudgin flees from his father's rivals. Temudgin is saved by a young prince, Jamukha, and the two become blood brothers. That bond of friendship is tested, though, when the grown Temudgin (Tadanobu Asano) wages war--against the Mongol code--to win back the captive Borte. As Temudgin asserts his own power, he must also face Jamukha in all-out battle if he is to secure the safety of his family and his own kingly destiny. Gorgeously shot on location in Kazakhstan and Inner Mongolia, MONGOL represents the first in a proposed trilogy of films that will chronicle the full impact of Genghis Khan's reign. As ambitious in scope as its subject was in life, MONGOL--a 2008 Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film--offers a unique look at the influence of love and loyalty to the life and times of one of history's most enigmatic rulers.
- for sequences of bloody warfare
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 1000040383
Ba Yin, Tadanobu Asano, He Qi, Odnyam Odsuren, Sun Ben Hou, Amadu Mamadakov, Ji Ri Mu Tu, Khulan Chuluun, Aliy A, Ba Sen, Honglei Sun
"[With] retina-scorching widescreen images. Cinematographers Sergey Trofimov and Rogier Stoffers are constantly attuned to the seasonally changing colours and textures of the central Asian landscape."
Sight and Sound
"Russian filmmaker Sergei Bodrov contrasts images of sweeping landscape and propulsive battle with potent scenes of emotional intimacy..." -- Grade: B+
"Full of stunning views of China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan and showing an unexpected side of Genghis Khan, MONGOL feels like an old-fashioned epic."
Los Angeles Times
"[A] big, ponderous epic, its beautifully composed landscape shots punctuated by thundering hooves and bloody, slow-motion battle sequences."
New York Times
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "MONGOL is a sweeping and quasi-mythical epic that recalls LAWRENCE OF ARABIA....It combines a sprawling adventure saga with romance, family drama and riveting action sequences.
4 stars out of 5 -- "[Bodrov] benefits immeasurably from his leading man's performance, with Japanese actor Asano Tadanobu bringing a confidence and quietude to the part, which in turn adds gravitas to his epic journey."
4 stars out of 5 -- "There's a lot of action, intrigue and local colour....Director Sergei Bodrov also shows the despot's sensitive nature..."
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