Category Archives: Kazakhstani Movies

Mongol – Movie Review

Movie: Mongol

International Title: Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan

Release: 2007

Country of Origin: Russia, Kazakhstan

Languages: Mongolian, Mandarin

Genre: Drama, War, History, Adventure, Biography

Mongol Movie Review & Storyline:

As I wrote in my previous review about Sergei Bodrov’s unmatched ability to portray the great Asian Steppe and its culture. I am happy again to review another of his “masterpiece” today, Mongol. It is a story of a boy named Temujin, who went on to become the legendary Genghis Khan. The founder of the greatest and largest empire the world has ever seen. Mongol has all the elements a good movie possesses. The direction is absolutely brilliant, screenplay is awesome and cinematography is of top class. One of the best thing about Mongol is its great music and background score composed by Tuomas Kantelinen and Altan Urag.

The film starts with Temujin, a captive of the Tangut Kingdom thinking about his childhood and the hardships he faced for survival. In the flashback we get to know that at the age of 9, he was orphaned and had to struggle hard to stay alive which he did with the help of his God “Tengri”. Temujin makes a friend, Jamukha (who would later turn out to be his biggest nemesis). The movie sheds a light on the social and cultural life of the Mongols of that time. Temujin’s rival tribe abducts his wife, Borte that hurts him. To get back his wife Temujin seeks Jamukha’s help and they go to war with the Merkits (tribe). After getting back his wife, Temujin leaves Jamukha saying that he is a master of his own and can’t serve him as his second in command. Here starts a conflict between the “blood brothers”.

The story then goes on and we see a small phase of happiness in Temujin’s life. But, the time comes when he has to choose between family and his destiny. And, unsurprisingly he chooses the later. The movie ends when Temujin unites many tribes of Mongolia and defeats a large army of Jamukha and his allies. After the win, Jamukha is captured by Temujin’s men. As per the historical records Jamukha was executed by Genghis Khan, but in the movie he is seen as spared by Temujin.

My Favorite Scene from the Movie…

Rating & Verdict of this film:

I rated this film 9/10, and without any doubt it deserves this rating. Mongol offers some intense acting by lead actors. The action sequences are well-directed and one of my favorite scene was the last battle scene. Tadanobu Asano as Temujin is a brilliant choice and he never let us down. His power packed acting keeps us glued to our seats. Honglei Sun as Jamukha is equally impressive as well as explosive. The rest of the cast too has performed good.

As far as this film’s historical accuracy is concerned I am not sure about it as the history of the Great Mongol Leader, Genghis Khan has been written after his death and there are many “inaccuracies” in each account. Anyways, for a movie lover Mongol is nonetheless an absolute delight to watch. I would recommend it to everyone who loves history based films. 

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Mongol Full Soundtrack Playlist.

Nomad The Warrior – Movie Review

Movie: Nomad The Warrior

Original Title: Köshpendiler

Original Releasing Year: 2005 

English Release: 2007

Country of Origin: Kazakhstan

Language: English Dubbed

Original Language: Kazakh

Genre: Drama, War, History

Nomad The Warrior Movie Review & Storyline –

When it comes to portraying the history and culture of the great Steppes of Asia, Sergei Bodrov is a master of it. In Nomad The Warrior one can feel attached to the wonderful history, geography and culture of the Central Asian region. Nomad The Warrior is a highly romanticized, fictionalized and dramatized account of the early 18th century Kazakh ruler popularly called as Ablai Khan. He is best known to never submit to Russia and fighting epic battles with the Jungar/Dzungar Khanate.

Nomad The Warrior
The caravan carrying the child is attacked by the Jungars…

The movie starts with a young and wise Kazakh warrior named Oraz (Jason Scott Lee) roaming in search of the “prophesied” child. A descendent of the great Ghengis Khan who will unite the ethnic groups of Kazakhs under one flag and fight the Jungars. Finally, he finds the child in a caravan. As he approaches to see the child himself, the caravan is attacked by the Dzungar horsemen led by their invincible warrior Sharish. All are killed including the mother of the child. Oraz is able to get the child to safety. He meets the Sultan (ruler) of Turkestan city and tells him that he has saved his child. The ruler becomes happy to see the child safe and offers Oraz to ask for a gift. Oraz tells that he wants the child as his safety can only be ensured when he is in his custody. The father after getting angry at first finally agrees to this proposal by Oraz.

Nomad The Warrior
                            Mansur and Gauhar – Childhood Lovers…

Oraz then names the boy, Mansur (Kuno Becker) and teaches him to become a capable warrior. Mansur’s abilities are only matched by another pupil of Oraz called Erali (Jay Hernandez) who also happens to be Mansur’s best friend. Both the guys fell in love with the same girl, Gauhar (Ayanat Ksenbai), but none admits their love to her. Meanwhile, the Jungar leader Galdan is hell-bent to kill the prophesied child and asks his general, Sharish to attack Turkestan.

Nomad The Warrior
                          Erali and Mansur, Oraz’s best warrior…

Here arrives the time for Mansur to show his mettle which he does with flying colours. Mansur kills Sharish, an unbeaten warrior of Jungars. Now the Sultan gets to know that Mansur is his son and he announces him as heir. In a twist of tale, Gauhar has been kidnapped by the Jungars and Ereli after hearing this goes out to find her. Here, in the palace Mansur is left alone as Oraz too leaves advising him to “be aware” of betrayals.

Galdan, to avenge Sharish’s death gets Mansur kidnapped. When Mansur addresses Galdan, he tells him that as per nomadic customs this is not the way to deal with a warrior. Galdan tells him that he will respect the customs of the Kazakhs and offers him his freedom, if Mansur passes a difficult test. Mansur agrees to this proposal and passes the test, that none has passed till date. But, still he is not released as Sharish’s mother asks Galdan to make Mansur fight one on one battle with another warrior. Mansur agrees and his fight is fixed with another warrior who too is a Kazakh. A night before the fight Galdan’s daughter Hocha (Dilnaz Akhmadieva) comes to meet Mansur in secrecy and asks him to marry her and become prince of the Jungars. Mansur rejects her offer profoundly, Hocha lefts dejected.

Next day, Mansur defeats the opposing warrior. But, he is shocked to see the face of that warrior. He was none other than his beloved friend, Ereli. After this incident Mansur flees from the custody of the Jungars with Gauhar. They get married later on. Now the time for final battle arrives when Galdan with the help of his “Western” friends brings a large army with modern weapons to destruct the city of Turkestan. As was the prophecy, it happened exactly the same way. Mansur slowly got the support of various Kazakh tribes and wins the battle. He as a gesture of goodwill sends the grandson of Galdan alive to him with a message. The message read –

“From this day forth, all the Jungars and enemies of the Kazakhs must know that from the Tian-Shan Mountains to the Aral Sea lies a land that has been inhabited by the Kazakhs since ancient times. All who dare to encroach upon this land will be beaten and driven out as has been done to the Jungars. We will treat our friends with open arms, but will show no mercy to our enemies.”  Ablai Khan…

Nomad The Warrior
                      Mansur after “unknowingly” killing Erali…

Nomad The Warrior Rating & Verdict –

For good cinematography, nice direction and a great storyline I have rated Nomad The Warrior 8/10. It’s a bit more than what this movie actually deserves because Nomad The Warrior has one of the poorest english dubbing I have ever came across my life. The acting too is just above average. But, I just overlook these things because Nomad The Warrior is an entertaining stuff despite of it flaws. It is also that kind of movie which never lets you get bored while watching. So, if you are a lover of history genre then get the taste of some Kazakh one.