Kiziltug – Cengiz Han (1952)

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Kiziltug – Cengiz Han (1952). 1h 15m

“I had first heard of this when it was released on DVD and was immediately intrigued; still, it took me a long while to get hold of and, in the long run, I must admit that my initial reaction proved somewhat underwhelming! For the record, the only other Turkish film I have watched (and this occurred only earlier in the year) is another idiosyncratic – and decidedly uneven – take on a popular mythical figure i.e. Dracula IN ISTANBUL (1953).u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eOne of the first noticeable things here is that the titular potentate is not even the protagonist. Rather it is a dashing warrior who initially falls out with him and his men au0026#39; la u0026quot;The Three Musketeersu0026quot;, but whose fighting prowess makes the Khan realize that it is better that such a person be an ally instead of the enemy. That said, he eventually incurs his protectoru0026#39;s wrath upon assuming the identity of an opposing ruleru0026#39;s son (whom the hero closely resembles and which is just as well, since the latter is a wimp!). However, he is now thrust into a precarious situation because, not only does he fall for his own u0026#39;sisteru0026#39;, but when the King conveniently swears by him rather than his real offspring, he has involuntarily condemned the latter to death as an impostor! Still, even more obvious (and this was noted in the few online reviews I came across), was the poor quality of the print utilized for the DVD transfer: the image was all scratched to hell and bumpy (for instance, the denouement happens so fast that it barely registers!), while the audio was heavily distorted for much of its 75-minute duration! u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAnyway, while the film does make for an unusual outing (courtesy of its exotic touches, including the trademark intrusion of musical numbers), it is not sufficiently inspired – indeed, it is very much naïve but, again, one could hardly have expected it to follow the established pattern for such things – to leave a particular impression; consequently, for all its pictorial felicities (what with a look that bears faint echoes of Sergei Eisensteinu0026#39;s IVAN THE TERRIBLE {1942-6}), the end result fails to live long in the memory! By the way, while I followed this with the contemporaneous (and similarly modest) THE GOLDEN HORDE (1951) – also revolving around the persona of this famous bloodthirsty warrior leader – I had to abort (due to time constraints) my planned re-acquaintance with two large-scale u0026#39;biopicsu0026#39;, namely the notorious (and ill-fated) THE CONQUEROR (1956) and the star-studded international production GENGHIS KHAN (1965).”


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