cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 12:26am on 29/06/2008 under ,
Tonight, [livejournal.com profile] esrblog and I went out to a theater in Bryn Mawr that specializes in foreign films and limited-run "art" films, to see Mongol, Russian director Sergei Bodrov's take on the rise to power of Genghis Khan.

The film is a visual masterpiece. Bodrov managed to get the requisite permissions to shoot the film in location that approximate the actual historic ones--which in modern political terms means various parts of Mongolia, China, and Kazakhstan. Clearly, he also used a lot of Mongolian locals, and so far as I can tell the actors are speaking Mongolian (with English subtitles).

Visually, the film is utterly convincing. The landscape of course is right, the people are dressed in the right mix of prideful display and roughing-it clothing that history shows was daily Mongol wear, the nomad communities (and certain scenes in a Silk Road frontier town) look the way one would expect, even if one is somewhat familiar with the relevant history (as I am). The actors are excellent--particularly the boy chosen to play Temudgin (Genghis Khan's birth name, which he abandoned when he became Great Khan) as a child. The bloodshed is suitably casual and dramatic, and the battle scenes have the jittery feel that being in the middle of battle likely would produce.

A lot of the plot, in fact most of the second half of the movie, is the stuff of fiction. (I won't say which parts in case anyone wants to go watch it, but there is an awful lot of pure invention that doesn't even come close to tracking the historical facts.) The final battle is a cast-of-thousands type effort that probably exaggerates the number of warriors actually involved in real life. There are touching scenes between Temudgin, his wife Borte, and their children that show behavior that's more modern than I think is plausible. But overall, the movie was fun to watch, and if you like gorgeous cinematography (and aren't too offended by filmmakers taking liberties with history) I recommend it.

Afterward, we went to a nearby restaurant and had "Mongolian lamb". Well, that's what they called it, but it was made in a Chinese style. It was tasty all the same, as was the movie.
Mood:: 'satisfied' satisfied

June

SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
        1
 
2
 
3
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8 9
 
10
 
11 12
 
13
 
14
 
15 16
 
17
 
18 19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30