Sunday, June 22, 2008

Contrast creates humor

We went to see Mongol, the Russian movie about the early days of Genghis Khan.

That was an awful lot of testosterone for one evening.  I am full up on testosterone now for the rest of the summer.  And, yes, just as there can be too many car chases, there can be too many horse chases.

Other than hormone overload, the picture was actually quite good.  I even forgot I was reading subtitles, which I hate.  Temudgin (his real name) has a wife, who plays a major role in the movie and she certainly lived a life that challenged convention.  GK himself comes off as an interesting figure: the Mongolian Moses, Jesus Christ, and Alan Alda rolled into one.

Despite the fact that I mostly liked the movie and found the GK represented a rather jovial family man, I did distinguish myself once again as the only person who is laughing in a movie theater at the serious part.  

That happened to me during Titanic, which one of my younger cousins urged me to see.  People in the theater were actually sobbing at the end, while I was laughing hysterically because what else can you do when the script has the two lovers pledging eternal connection, one perched on a floating piece of debris, the other clinging to the side while plunged into freezing water and freezing to death, at which point the other continues to talk to the dead frozen lover, continuing to pledge to be with him throughout eternity, and then, when the rescue boats come, starts hacking at his frozen corpse with some kind of hatchet fashioned from debris because she realizes that unless she can get him off her raft, she won't be rescued.  And she continues to pledge undying love while breaking his frozen arms into bits.  And that wasn't the only funny moment.

OK, so GK goes to the special Mongolian mountain of the gods and has his vision about how the Mongols should behave and what the rules should be.  He then proceeds to list them: don't kill the women and children, pay your debts, kill your enemies, and never betray your khan.  I think that was it.  It was just droll: movies have a way of making the historical figures in them seem personable and accessible, and yet, when all is said and done, these people are living in the 12th century, and, yes, they do hold antiquated attitudes.  Contrast creates humor.    

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