Mongol: Review.

Big budget epic biopic of the life of Genghis Khan. Very pretty steppes. Actually, cinematographically and locationally it is gratuitously wonderful throughout. Pretty enjoyable in a historical fantasy kind of way. However, I suspect that it bears little resemblance to anything like the life of Genghis Khan; it is the movie-fied into contemporary narrative form version. (Who knows. Maybe his tale is actually primarily a love story, and he a misunderstood family man forced by circumstance to take over the known world.) In any case I would much prefer a big budget recreation of his actual life and examination of his psyche, whatever they were like, rather than the peculiar mythologising it seemed to be. Of course, this probably isn’t possible for any number of reasons.

Worth seeing at the Embassy, in any case. (Also, I think that’s the only damn near sold out daytime session I’ve ever been to at the festival.)

3 Responses to “Mongol”

  1.   Pearce
    July 30th, 2008 | 7:44 am

    That isn’t what I expected a post from you titled “mongol” to be about.

    I reckon hoping that a biopic may be historically accurate is a bit like hoping that smoking cigarettes may cure lung cancer. In any case, there aren’t any reliable records of the early life of Genghis Khan much less of his psyche (it’s all just myth-making really), so any movie will necessarily rely on conjecture.

  2.   Administrator
    July 30th, 2008 | 12:56 pm

    What were you expecting?

    Yeah. In many ways the way in which it changes are revealing. Mircea Eliade wrote about the way that the archetype of a hero determines the acts of a hero, and documents cases where people whose lives we know about that didn’t include slaying dragons, several hundred years later, have had the slaying of dragons attributed to them, because they were regarded as a hero, and the narrative of the hero at that time demanded the slaying of dragons.

    So the differences between the likely Genghis, and the Genghis who is mythologised on film, is precisely that of what fits the modern hero mold or archetype.

    This should probably have gone in the original post. Oh well.

  3.   Pearce
    August 4th, 2008 | 7:06 pm

    Something about Downs Syndrome.