You don't need $200 million to make a good epic.
Indyfreak - wrote on 11/23/14
Just 10% of that would do apparently.
Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan succeeds at being what most (usually more expensive) biopics fail to do these days: it's actually entertaining not because you admire its scale and visuals which are good but because you find the characters interesting and you want to know how it ends even though you already know it's about Genghis Freaking Khan. And yes, there are grand battles, daring escapes, romantic entanglements, and it's all in the Mongolian language! Director Sergei Bodrov has a smaller budget than his Hollywood counterparts but it looks and feels as immersive and sweeping as an epic film should be.
Using the oldest storytelling technique in the book (first-person narration), Genghis Khan (Asian dude from Thor 1 and 2) recalls how he rose to become one of history's most successful military leaders and by his own admission in the film, among the most brutal. The supporting cast is full of people whom I'm sure no one is familiar with but man, they do a good job. Khan's wife, Borte, is just as ambitious as he is and she uses all her wit and wiles to get what she wants-all while remaining in love with her husband. Now that's a woman!
Despite the focus of the movie being Genghis freaking Khan, it's surprisingly earnest. There's little pomp or bombastic music blaring in the background like most historical epics these days.