Mongol (2008)

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Mongol charts the life of Genghis Khan, from boy who sees his father assassinated, is abandoned by his clan and has his bride abducted, to the feared leader conqueror of half the known world.

Well, some of it anyway. Mongol bears all the hallmarks of a quality historical epic, from the beautiful cinematography and fantastic costume design to the brilliantly staged battle sequences. Although he’s obviously no John Wayne(!), Tadanobu Asano makes a charismatic Temudgin and the relationships between his pragmatic and wily wife – nicely played by the striking Khulan Chuluun – and his brother turned enemy are interesting and well done. Unfortunately, the rather glamorised script seemed to lack focus; it happily showed his happy home life as loving husband and father in a way that reminded me of the early stages of Braveheart, but would then skip over huge swathes of his life. One minute he’s a lone warrior, frolicking with his family in a field, the next he’s in command of half of Mongolia, facing his brother on a battlefield. How did these events came to pass? Search me.

Still, what there is is very well done, if a little episodic; I just wished Mongol had concentrated a bit more on the parts of his life I was actually interested in.

6/10

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