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Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan (2008)

Tadanobu Asano , Khulan Chuluun , Sergei Bodrov  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (185 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tadanobu Asano, Khulan Chuluun, Ji Ri Mu Tu, Amarbold Tuvshinbayar, Aliya (II)
  • Directors: Sergei Bodrov
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Mongolian (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 18, 2009
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (185 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001F34HT6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,604 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

MONGOL (WS)

Amazon.com

First entry in a proposed trilogy, Mongol vividly captures the beauty and brutality of ancient Mongolia. Beginning in 1172 and ending in 1206, Sergei Bodrov's Oscar-nominated epic presents future conqueror Ghengis Khan as more lover--and fighter--than diplomat. Against his father Esegui's wishes, nine-year-old Temudjin chooses his own bride, whom he marries in the years to come. Hopes for the future, however, turns to thoughts of vengeance when the clan forsakes the boy upon Esegui's death. While Temudjin (now played by Zatoichi’s Tadanobu Asano, a quietly commanding presence) makes his way in a cruel world, turncoat Targutai (Amadu Mamadakov) becomes the new khan. When an opposing clan kidnaps Temudjin’s wife, Börte (Khulan Chuluun), he eventually retrieves her, but betrays blood brother Jamukha (Sun Honglei, Seven Swords) in the process, leading to further enslavement and more Kurasawa-style slicing and dicing. Throughout his travails, Temudjin comes to believe that Mongols must unite to share the same language, culture, and set of values. Sustained by his faith in the god Tengri and the devotion of Börte, Temudjin sets out to wrest control of Mongolia from Jamukha and his women and children-killing hordes. Except for an over-reliance on CGI during the climactic battle sequence, Mongol equals the scope and grandeur of historical predecessors, like Braveheart and Hero. If much of the cast is Chinese and Japanese, Bodrov, who directed Prisoner of the Mountains, conjures up authenticity through detailed costumes, Mongolian dialogue, and remote Central Asian locations. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
132 of 137 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't vouch for the historical accuracy... September 10, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
...but considering the minimal budget (20 million dollars American) and the genuine Mongolian (some areas so isolated that new roads had to be built to get the film crews there) locations filmed, this was a fantastic movie that was well-paced for an introduction to the life of Temudjin, who would become the Genghis Khan.

Despite the low budget, nothing in the movie looks cheaply filmed; everything looks like that of a big budget film six times more expensive, from costumes to makeup (and the craggly dirt buildup on Temudjin during his time in captivity). I don't speak Mongolian, so I can't tell whether the accents spoken are accurately Mongolian, but for an American audience, it was great for authenticity (rather than having them speak Russian or Kazakh).

The movie excels in two particular aspects which really make this one more than just a casual ancient-world flick; the battles and the people.

While Genghis Khan is demonized in the West as a barbarous conqueror, he is seen like a hero in the East, and this movie serves to show him as both and neither, making him more than just black or white, but a fully fleshed out person with ambitions to uniting all the Mongol tribes as one beneath him. He is utterly believable as a human being, fallible, and seemingly very much driven by his love for his wife and children, whom he nevertheless must leave constantly to fulfill his dream.

There is also Jamukha, who manages to be both a piggish, slothy figure, and a noble, loyal friend to Temudjin, when their dreams conflict and they become enemies, with a very painful and realistic portrayal of just why Jamukha would betray Temudjin, and his lack of joy in facing his opponent on a field of battle.

Then there's the battles.
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70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Do Not Scorn a Weak Cub..." October 17, 2008
Format:DVD
Recent Best Foreign Oscar Film nominee `Mongol' is an impressive epic. Telling the first installment of the life and times of Ghengis Khan, we get more than a history lesson, but a personal account of a fraternal feud for power. Filmed with breathtaking cinematography and a sound that should have garnered a separate nomination, the movie is a sweeping drama, complete with battles that make similar `300' scenes obvious digitalized formula.

Although the film goes ahead (mostly in chronological order) with several "One Year Later" and other useful captions, we lose ourselves in a story of one man's struggle for survival among his Khan and the love interests that shape, bind and beget tribal rivalries and aspirations. We follow the coming-of-age footsteps of Temujin (Tadanobu Asano) and his older rival Targutai (Amandu Mamadakov) who both strive for power and read the oracles of gods like Tengri, whom they beckon for help.

Some of the battles are Trojan-like in thrust. Temujin will spare no one for Borte (Khulan Chuluun), his lifelong love interest. Between his patient endurance and his love, Temujin becomes a leader who can match wills with any Mongol tribe. Going from tribal feuds to a far-reaching dynasty, the film chronicles the real human faces that made history happen.

Before becoming Khan, he must master the elements. Between the harshness of tundra to humiliation and hunger, the sharp edge of life known for bitterly cold winters, make or break the existence of people who rely on their armies, shelter, and horses to survive.

It cannot be emphasized enough how the lingering beauty of each frame is arresting enough to justify viewing this two hour and five minute film.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Flick! October 10, 2008
Format:DVD
To say this movie is a historical documentary failure would be a shame. What it was to me was a film that was entertaining to watch, with an epic story that got you into the charactors. The cinematography was huge, with beautiful wide shots.
I went to the theater to see this flick not knowing much about it, and I looked at the audience from time to time, one gentlemen was on the edge of his seat! This movie was far better than any other movie about Khan that I've ever seen (including John Waynes). Nobody seems to care that other actors have played Ghenghis throughout the ages, which is to say that I don't know why people are upset a Japanese actor played the role. I thought he did an outstanding job.
I have recommended this film to friends, which typically I don't do and have'nt done in a long time.
I don't know if the DVD will have over-dubs, but the sub-titles were very easy to read in the theater.
I'm giving this movie 5 stars cause it's like an Asian version of Braveheart, which is'nt historically accurate but highly entertaining!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Memorable Photography Highlights Story Of 'Temudjin' January 15, 2009
Format:DVD
The most pleasing part of this film, I thought, was the excellent cinematography. Kudos to Roger Stoffers and Sergei Trofimov for an outstanding job photographing this movie, making the most bleak of landscapes look stunning many times and adding some wonderful closeup shots of objects and faces.

It's not a bad story, either, although not one that will keep you riveted to the screen for the full two hours. However, I wasn't bored, either, although some of the action scenes looked too repetitive with very hokey-looking special-effects concerning blood splashing out of people in the battle scenes. It did not look real, but as if it were drawn. It's ironic in that the production values seem to be so high with a such a nicely-filmed effort, yet the action scenes are staged like a B-movie.

In a nutshell, this is the story of how "Genghis Kahn," who is "Temudjin" throughout the movie, spent his tough early life and how he became the famous warrior. We just see how many hardships the man endured to become who he was later in life. He was never referred to as Genghis Kahn which, I learned hear, is a title more than a name. That must have come later, after he had control of all the Mongol armies, which is where the film ends.

Many times, it's a not a pleasant existence for "Temudjin," who was marked man from the age of nine. We see him spend many lonely hours held captive in different places. The looks on his face are memorable. Odnyam Odsuren ad the young "Temudjin" and Tadanobu Asano as the adult "Temudjin" both had extraordinarily photographic faces.

One of the few problems I had with the movie were understanding "the rest of the story" as certain scenes ended abruptly leaving me (and I assume other viewers) wondering "what happened?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good film!
Not a fan of subtitles but in this case it just added to the awesomeness of the story.
Published 15 days ago by Linkoakshield
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully filmed. Fascinating story
Wish they'd get it together to finish the trilogy. Beautifully filmed. Fascinating story.
Published 1 month ago by Stephanie
3.0 out of 5 stars Too big a story
The story itself is too big for the script, a lot should be taken out as the viewer just gets left behind. I know a fair bit about Genghis Khan, and I got lost. Read more
Published 2 months ago by BernardZ
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Genghis Khan movie to date!
EXCELLENT MOVIE. A must have for history buffs.
Published 3 months ago by Jojo Trox
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read.
This series, all five books, are wonderful, educational and exciting. Read them all.
Published 3 months ago by Patricia Kern
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed review of a superb movie
This is a movie on the scale of what Hollywood was once capable of. It isn't and doesn't have to be historically perfect in every detail of accuracy. Read more
Published 3 months ago by PhotoGraphics
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good
Published 3 months ago by Lemar McCabe
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertainment or History?
I believe this leaned more toward entertainment rather than a factual historical account. It was above average in any case. Read more
Published 5 months ago by seanote
5.0 out of 5 stars Genghis Khan DVD
My sister talked of this movie several times, so I bought this for my sister because it was her favorite movie and she loves it!
Published 5 months ago by Chualauq
4.0 out of 5 stars Epic Account of a Hero with a Charmed Life
Some reviewers have referred to the fact that MONGOL: THE RISE OF GENGHIS KHAN is a low-budget epic, as compared to its Hollywood equivalents. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Dr. Laurence Raw
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