by DeAnn Welker June 3, 2008 11:03 am
Okay, to start off there's just a wolf looking through some branches at a child who is meditating in the snow. It really gives no clues as to what this movie's about, but it's so visually stunning I could watch it all day even if nothing else happened. We get more great cinematography as we see horse riders from a distance and then a close-up of a child on a horse (I can't tell if it's the same child as we just saw meditating, but for continuity's sake I'm going to say that it is. Then we find out this was one of the five Oscar nominees for best foreign language film. From here we quickly discover that our meditating child is Genghis Khan as a boy. He's a fairly happy kid, making friends with other kids, until he loses his family tragically and is captured himself. He grows up, escapes and goes back to the same spot to meditate (where we are to believe that the same wolf gazes at him; it's pretty, but I'm not buying it, even as symbolism). He finds love, but his real purpose in life is to "fulfill his destiny," according to our narrator. That destiny is to raise an army to recover everything taken from him as a child, and then some. He doesn't just get vengeance for the murders of his loved ones; He takes over and rules the largest empire ever known. This is a film that should shed some light on Genghis Khan. Most people think of him as a tyrant (or as that guy from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure). I'm going to ignore the stupid narration -- "Greatness comes to those who take it"-- and focus on the fact that this is a story that we haven't seen 1,000 times already ... and it's pretty to look at.
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