Mongol (2007) – REVIEW

by Jordache Wee

Original Russian Title: Монгол
Release Date: September 20, 2007 
Directed by: Sergei Bodrov
Language: Mongolian, Mandarin
Music by: Tuomas Kantelinen, Altan Urag
Starring: Tadanobu Asano, Sun Honglei, Khulan Chuluun, Amadu Mamadakov, Ba Sen, Odynyam Odsuren, Bayertsetseg Erdenebat, Amarbold, Tuvshinbayar, Sai Xing Ga, Bu Ren, Aliya, He Qi, Deng Ba Te Er, Zhang Jiong, Ben Hon Sun 

It tells the tales of Temudjin at a very young age approximately 10 years old following his father Esugei (Ba Sen) and the clan herd. It was the time for Temudjin to choose his future bride. Esugei hopes Temudjin chooses the bride from the Merkit tribe to avoid some inevitable war. Instead he selects Borte who has been eyeing him before his arrival. He will not see her until after 5 years for his marriage.

As Temudjin and his father were travelling, their enemy sat on the ground then offered him a cup of milk. Although warned by his fellow men to test if the milk is poisoned by the enemy; Esugei speaks words of honor and not to underestimate the enemy. Both sides drank. Under the dry and hot sun, Esugei began to feel hurt in the chest and knowing his death awaits him; he told Temudjin that he is now a Khan.

When the death of Esugei was spread, Targutai (Amadu Mamadakov) – one of the Esugei’s warrior tribesmen took advantage by commanding the other tribesmen to loot the dead khan’s camp and take everything which belongs to him. Targutai spares Temudjin’s life because of the Mongol’s law that they are not allowed to kill women and children. But he was held captive and was served food so as he grows taller and be a man so that Targutai behead him.

On the same night, an old man who feeds him helped him to escape. Temudjin wanders along the snow-covered mountain area and find himself at the peak of ice-breaking that he fell into the pool, but managed to survive as he was found by a young boy who would later be his blood brother and future rival, Jamukha.

Unfortunately, Targutai manages to find Temudjin and finally placing into a pillory-like. Again, one of the nights – Temudjin escapes and went to visit the Great Tengri to release him from the cangue. We see the cangue breaks open.

In 1186, Temudjin is now a young man and was caught once more by Targutai who wishes to have his meat be chopped into pieces so he can be khan. The day he was captured, the night he killed the guard and escape again. Boorcha, a shepherd gave Temudjin one of the horses and race to seek for his wife.

Later that night they are attacked by the Merkit tribe led by Chiledu, because Temudjin’s father stole his wife, Oelun (Aliya) from one of their tribesmen. While being chased on horseback, Temudjin is shot with an arrow. Borte whips the horse which Temüjin is on, telling it to go home. Börte is captured and told by the Merkit leader that she is now his. Temudjin returns to his family weakened but determined to get his wife back.

Temudjin visits his childhood friend, Jamukha. Jamukha, now a khan himself, agrees to help him get his wife back and attack the Merkit tribe, though only after a year passes. The attack on the Merkit tribe is a success, and Temüjin finds Borte alive and Chiledu dead with his throat dead; though, just as he feared, has already been forced upon and left pregnant with Chiledu’s son, who Temüjin takes for his own. Temudjin and his men leave early the next morning with two of Jamukha’s soldiers. Jamukha chases down Temudjin, warning him of his actions.

Taichar, Jamukha’s brother, is later killed for attempting to steal Temudjin’s horses; Jamukha and Temudjin go to war. When their armies face off, Temudjin sends some of his men to protect the families, while those remaining continue to fight. Being outnumbered, the army is quickly over-run. Jamukha decides to make Temudjin a slave rather than kill him.

Temudjin is then sold to a rich man from the Tangut kingdom. Temudjin sends a message to a monk who can forsee Temudjin’s future of being a great conqueror someday and begged that when that day comes – he must not destroyed the Buddhist monastery for its sacred scrolls. The monk travels alone in the desert and died due to dehydration but carries the fishbone of which Borte and Juchi knows that Temudjin is alive. Borte gets to Tangut and pays the guard for the key to Temüjin’s cage.

Once freed, he gathers an army to unite all Mongols and follow some basic rules to live by. Temudjin takes on Jamukha to unite the tribes. After his victory, Temudjin is named the khan of all Mongols: Genghis Khan.

Reviewer’s Note:
This is one hella great epic movie. Great art of photography indeed, the scenery of the landscape grabs the audience attention on the visible beauty of the Mongolian plains. Their culture and language were as if purify.

This film is the finest film of the century. It even reveals great values such as loyalty, trustworthy, code of honor. Although Borte was raped or the child not belong to Temudjin – he treated them as his without any biases.

Temudjin portrays more of his kindness and generousity than barbarism nor tyranny. He treated his people and warriors with compassionate and equal. Yet all of this were shown in the film before the closing scene states that he finally what the world all knew him as the Great Khan conqueror: Genghis Khan! 

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