In 1967, a young Beijing student, Chen Zhen, is sent to live among the nomadic herdsmen of Inner Mongolia. Caught between the advance of civilization from the south and the nomads' traditional enemies - the marauding wolves - to the north; humans and animals, residents and invaders alike, struggle to find their true place in the world.Written by
-Wolf Totem (2015) movie review: -Wolf Totem is a Chinese film, made by the French director of Troy, based on the novel (based on a true story) following two Chinese students staying in a modern (1960s) nomadic group of Mongols who raise horses and sheep. They live in a somewhat dangerous area inhabited by Mongolian wolves, so when a corporate residential manager decides to essentially steal food from the smartest species of wolf on the planet, the wolves are forces to get into a turf was with the Mongolian shepherds. It is like the set-up for The Last Samurai if the samurai were the wolves.
-This ambitious endeavor paid off with a massive visual appeal, fantastic production value, and an incredibly emotional story. It was quite a great film.
-I'll go ahead and say this, if you don't like animal deaths or tragedy that might come with said true events surrounding the decline of two impressive races, Mongolians and Mongolian wolves, you will not enjoy this film. However, the story is well told and filled with smart writing to drive the point home and beyond. You will get more that you bargained for.
-The film takes a short while to really pick up, but it has a good pace for most of the film.
-The acting is very good. I do not know any of the actors or wolf actors in it, but the actors did a compelling job and the wolves were so much better than just having stock footage of wolves.
-The characters offered a lot to the story. Each character represents a human trait in a way. The main character, Chen Zhen, offers the hope in humanity and the attempt to see the best during dire situations. His best friend character is more of the ambitions, progressive look at those people who just don't care. There is the village leader, who represents the old ways and greatness of tradition. And of course, the sorta-villain who represents everything wrong with change and industrialization.
-The music is the best thing about it. James Horner composes one of his best, most beautiful, and most heart-string-pulling scores. It was actually how I found this film in the first place.
-Again, the design on the film is visually stunning. Very good practical effects, cinematography, and impressively good wolf training. Fun fact: This project was turned down by every major Chinese director because they thought it too difficult to train Mongolian wolves.
-It is an emotionally draining film and the true story makes it even harder to enjoy, but it is truly a compelling, well made, beautiful film that I think is totally worth checking out! -Wolf Totem does not have a rating, but it has a PG-13 amount of violence and language, so I would say PG-13. Makes sense.
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