This week, Doubletake’s film staff experienced considerable division over Sergei Bodrov’s epic film, “Mongol.” Half of us enjoyed it immensely (this editor hasn’t seen its like since the Broadway production of “Cats”), and the other half almost stormed out of the theater in an indignant flurry. In order to resolve this dispute, we invited two outsiders to settle the score.
Let me guess. You’re feeling angry, irritable, even a little hostile? Your father was poisoned by Tatars. Until age 12, you ate only locusts and tree bark. When you stick your vassals’ heads on tall pikes, survivors find you “threatening.” Believe me: you’re not alone.
The work of a Mongol is no mean task. You demand utter loyalty from your men, but have you ever asked yourself what you’re really demanding from yourself? Those long hours you spend away from home, plundering and raiding…when you’ve yet to plunder the depths of your own heart?
Maybe it’s time to listen to the wise woman who once said: “it takes a village to raise a child” instead of razing villages to the ground, child-less. Speaking of children, what kind of world do you intend to conquer and leave for yours? Sure, Oqedei is the sole heir, but this might make Jochi, Chaqatai, and Tolui feel a little bit left out. And your 400 neglected illegitimate children: will they, too, spill their seed on fallow ground?
This shaman think he know Mongol, but he don’t. Mongol no rely on fancy shaman-talk or special effect. Temujin, true Mongol, flay his hide with one hand tie behind back, then take hide and make kite, then take small intestine to make string, then use string to fly kite over shaman house in Hollywood hill. Temujin laugh so hard he wake neighbors who form small band to file noise complaint, but Temujin stamp them out like daisies in Gobi desert. Squat team try to stop Temujin but he just get started, not yet slake thirst on blood of celebrity horde that misrepresent him in film. Maybe horde bring producer. Maybe then Temujin stop…if George Clooney agree to play him in sequel.