Category Archives: Russian Movies

Koktebel – Movie Review

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Movie – Koktebel

English Title – Roads to Koktebel

Directed by – Boris Khlebnikov, Aleksei Popogrebsky

Screenplay by – Boris Khlebnikov, Aleksei Popogrebsky

Language – Russian

Country- Russia

Genre – Adventure, Drama, Romance

Releasing Year – 2003


Koktebel Review

This is a road movie about a widowed father (Igor Chernevich) and his son (Gleb Puskepalis). The father who is a trained Aeronautics engineer has lost his job and he and his son are traveling to Koktebel to meet his sister.

The film is about the events they encounter on their way and its effects on the father-son relationship. He is a good father who tries to answer every question his son has. They both often discuss the superb aerodynamics design of birds and how it helps them reach their destination. The son is deeply fascinated by the sea and the albatross birds found near it. He is determined to go to Koktebel. The father tries to get some repair works done for people in order to earn some money. In an unfortunate incidence he suffers a bullet wound. They continue their journey with the father in pain.

Somewhere in the countryside they meet a woman (Vera Sandrykina) who works as a nurse. She offers them shelter and heals the father’s wounds. They both get close and the father decides to stay with her for few more months. This irritates the son as he has nothing to do in desolate landscape and is tired of boredom. He is too young to understand his father’s need of female companionship. He expresses his anguish to his father, but in vain. Now he is a resolute kid and decides to travel alone to Koktebel.

Koktebel Review
Koktebel Russian Movie 2003

Koktebel is a look at the delicate dynamics of father-son relationship. A relation based on deep understanding, unspoken agreements, passing on of the legacy and the growing up of the son to wear his father’s shoes. The directors observe these nuances with amazing warmth in this simple story. The camera angles are very basic and hence compliment the simplicity. The bird’s eye view in a couple of shots beautifully depicts the son’s state of mind as he loves birds and is curious about their world of flying. The dark overtones portray the sombre and helpless condition of the protagonist due to lack of money and hunger. The background score is more of an accompaniment and is not really meant to express any emotion.

The last scene where the father reunites with his son talks volumes of fathomless empathy and understanding in their relation.

The film reminds you of Richard Bach’s classic – Jonathan Livingstone Seagull. Well it also reminded me of another Russian movie called ‘The Return’ released in the same year as this one- 2003.

 

Reviewed By – Pallavi Patil 

 

Mongol – Movie Review

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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.