Starring : EdvardOndar , Oleg Takatarov, Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa (cameo)
Directed By : Andrei Borissov
By The Will of Ghenghis Khan
Our latest Bluray review is a film from 2009, It chronicles the life of Ghenghis Khan, yes the nasty warrior leader who killed many ,apparently.
Well not as envisioned here, in this film by Russian director Andrei Borissov depicts Ghenghis as a hero of the people. Now the film in question is released in the UK by Manga Entertainment and on the front cover along with main stars Edvard Ondar,Sergei Egorov is Cary- Hiroyuki Tagawa ( Rising Sun,Memoirs of a Geisha and Mortal Kombat) , but in this epic two hour film blink once and your miss him. Really wish distribution companies would not make Media covers that give the wrong impression .
The film follows a young boy called Temuchin who will one day be the Khan. When his father dies it is left to his mother to raise him alone, but rival factions have other ideas and bully Temuchin and his mother. She sends him away to get away from danger and as he grows up he learns the way of the warrior ,to hunt and to survive, he knows that it is his destiny to be the Khan . Basically rival tribes of Mongols try to impose their own rule and appoint their own Khan.
But Temuchin is intent in following his goal, with fellow tribes that followed his father he amasses a great army to fight his foes when needed.
But this film depicts the man who will be labelled the great Ghenghis Khan as a man who just wants unification between the tribes and warring factions, it seems the people opposing him are the ones that seem to be the bloodthirsty barbaric rapists and murderers ( see we all perceive Ghenghis Khan as a bad man when in fact he was probably cool) .
Now of course you want to know if the film delivers on the action and story front. Now many would have seen the earlier film about Ghenghis Khan , Mongol, also directed by Russian director Sergei Bodrov back in 2007.
Mongol also got a international release and was a film which shot a on a budget of 18 Million dollars. With Andrei Borissov's film it cost only 5 Million to make ,but that is still more then five times the amount afforded to most Russian films.
Not only that but the film took over two years to complete ,as it was a massive task to have such a international cast with actors from Germany,USA ,Russia and Mongolia getting everyone to work together was not easy due to language barriers , also the film was shot in Mongolian and Russian ,but the Mongolian used about nine different dialects .
For authenticity the film was shot in the Gobi Desert and the icy mountains of Yukutia.The Mongolian army took part in the battle scenes and performed many of the stunts in the film ,mainly because many actors and stuntmen would not risk some of the stunts wanted by the director. The local nomads said we can show how to do the manoeuvres wanted but the actors replied ,'Where Not Doing That'' Especially on icy mountains , also they where horse masters and could get the horses to do as they wanted .
This was good for the film as the battles that take place are quite gritty and well staged. With no CGI used because of budget I presume ,everything you see on screen is real which makes it more interesting to watch.
Now your think wow this must be a blinding film, well from a technical point it is , but I do have gripes with the film, there are many scenes which don't come across well ,some shots look like your watching a documentary about nomadic people this would be fine if that is what you where watching.
Now I can lend much of this to the camera work, or more the type of cameras used for shooting, it often looks like your watching some cheap TV film , it's said that digital photography was used and it's probably this that gives the film it's unlike a film look.
Now you have to remember this is a subtitled film so the epic scale it's trying to depict often gets lost in the visuals.
Also the use of a inspiring soundtrack to pull you In was lacking. Again making it seem like a documentary.
In short , By The Will Of Ghenghis Khan is a deep insight into the story of Temuchin a young boy who becomes the great Khan and builds a great Mongolian Empire. But is so much like watching a History lesson that the entertainment value often takes second place.
If you need to know about Ghenghis Khan for a history lesson , a paper or whatever ,then this will fit the bill as the detail cannot be faulted , but if you want to be entertained and walk away from the screen saying ,That was fun to watch then Id say watch ''MONGOL'' instead if you haven't already.
But saying that watch this first and you may enjoy it better ,then watch Mongol and your really enjoy that.
Score out of Ten = 6
Reviewer Sertes Nake
Review Date: March 2013.
Director -Andrei Borissov
Writer - Nikolay Luginov
Starring - Edvard Ondar , Oleg Takatarov, Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa, Sergei Egorov
Country - Russia
Run time - 127 minutes
Language - Russian, Mongolian,Yakut
Year - 2009