This delightful film is a complete fantasy, especially once it leaves its urban setting for an entirely imaginary world of sun-drenched steppes and gambolling goats, full of benevolent, wise, leisured folks who queue up as soon as they are introduced to become our heroes' new best friends and mentors. It's all far too pleasant to be believable, but you would need a heart of the purest mud not to be taken in anyway. For all its wishful thinking, the story achieves the prerequisite for fantasy: it makes you want to know where this place is so that you can move there. The script is also often funny, and the actors are uniformly excellent.
The film has been criticised for not featuring enough Mongolian characters doing authentic Mongolian things, but I think that is missing the point of the story. This is not about actual Mongolia and its people, but about the vast open spaces, exciting and unknown, that open up in front of a nine-year old, just as his parents are seeing their own vistas suddenly shuttered by a personal disaster. This new world is only Asian and exotic in ways that are accessible to the child: grand scenery, semi-free farm animals, people who live in tents, unfamiliar language. But the emotional connections the boy and his mother make while there are, naturally, with people that they could have met in America. On the contrary, it is the other characters, coming over with no expectations, who find answers there to the questions that they did not know how to ask.
0 out of 0 found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.