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Rebirth of a nation. Not since Genghis Khan has anyone united the Kazakh tribes. Jungar tribesmen of Mongolia rule Kazakh land, but a prophecy has it that a descendant of Genghis will unite his people. Oraz the Wise travels the land looking for the child who will fulfill the prophecy. He finds that infant and protects him from the warriors of Galdan, the Jungar king. Oraz recruits one lad from each Kazakh tribe and teaches them the art of war, loyalty, and camaraderie. Two are the best: Mansur and Erali. They are like brothers. Each must prove himself; both fall in love with the same young woman; both fall into enemy hands. At what cost does a prophecy come to pass? Written by
A visually spectacular, but far from original epic
Nomad is no different from American epics. Had the spoken language been English instead of Kazakh, it would have been impossible to distinguish this film from movies like Gladiator, Braveheart or Troy. It's just the latest entry in an overused genre. Still, I enjoyed watching Nomad. It entertained me for two hours even if I knew where the story was headed to, and that's all I demanded from it.
Like so many other similar flicks, Nomad deals with a tyrant, the people he's been tormenting for years, and a "chosen one" who will eventually dethrone him. When he first hears of this, the cruel dictator orders that this child be found and immediately killed. Naturally, the attempt fails, and the boy is raised in a remote village by an old, wise father figure, a character clearly based on the Merlin/Gandalf/Obi-Wan Kenobi blueprint. As the years pass, our hero, named Mansur (Kuno Becker), becomes a skilled warrior, perfectly capable of leading his rebellious countrymen in battle against the evil monarch. While preparing for the conflict, Mansur also has to deal with his feelings for a girl and the effects said romance is having on his lifelong friendship with Erali (Jay Hernandez), a man willing to do anything for his country and, most importantly, his leader and best friend.
The themes explored in epics are generally love, loyalty and freedom, and Nomad covers all of them them in a competent but predictable way: anyone who's ever seen this kind of movie will have no trouble figuring out how the various subplots, not to mention the big picture in itself, are going to end. But while it isn't exactly fresh, Nomad is a respectable film, its main quality lying in the visuals: the battle scenes are as great and gorgeous as in a Ridley Scott film, and the same should be said of the numerous shots concerning the eye-popping landscapes. In fact, with so much beautiful imagery (although a bit more violent than the average Hollywood blockbuster), it's a bit weird not to find the Blade Runner director's name among the executive producers, which do however include Milos Forman (the man behind the fabulous Amadeus).
So, as usual, style prevails over content, but when it looks so good, why complain? Nomad is a piece of pure, simple, unadulterated fun; that's why I liked it, and the reason genre fans should embrace it as well.
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