Sunday, September 27, 2020

The Legend of Tomiris - Movie Review

The Movie: The Legend of Tomiris

The Director: Akan Satayev

The Cast: Almira Tursyn, Aizhan Lighg, Adil Akhmetov, Erkebulan Dairov, Berik Aytzhanov, Satybaldy Azamat, Ghassan Massoud

The Story: Based on historical heroine Queen Tomiris of Massagetae and her cadre of female warriors (the real-life 6th century BCE Amazonians who inspired the mythical tales), The Legend of Tomiris recounts the tale of the nomadic ruler who overcame great personal tragedy to repel the powerful Persian empire and unite the Great Steppe. - Well Go USA

The Review:
What you get with this movie is a unique and familiar story about a legendary woman who dominated her time in history yet no one knows who she is in today's world. Tomiris is basically Mulan and Maximus (Gladiator) and Wonder Woman and and Leonidas (300) all rolled into one with no super powers to speak of other than being an amazing warrior and leader of people. The story is told in a sprawling and epic style that is beautifully filmed and worthy of such an extraordinary woman.

I will say that director Akan Satayev does stick to a tried and true formula that does pull from all the aforementioned characters and movies and I felt like the two and a half hour run time could have been trimmed down a bit. That being said, this is still a very enjoyable movie with a full roster of interesting characters highlighted by Tomiris herself played beautifully by Almira Tursyn. The strength, poise, and determination she pours into the character is impressive especially when you consider that, according to IMDB, this is her first theatrical acting performance of any kind.

Another strength of this movie is the beautiful cinematography, credited to Khasan Kydyraliyev, complete with an endless supply of sweeping vistas, grand locations, and highly detailed set designs. I really wish I could have watched this in a theater with a gigantic screen, the type of screen a movie like this deserves. Still, these days people like to brag about their impressive home theater systems so I'm sure watching it at home will be just fine.

To round out this epic adventure, we also get some really impressive fight choreography and large scale battle scenes that rival just about anything that doesn't fall into fantasy or science fiction genres. The up close combat is intense and brutal without being excessively bloody while the big stuff is done out in huge open spaces and sometimes with the help of realistic looking CGI and I mean the super wide shots where you see armies from far away moving towards each other.

The Verdict:
The Legend of Tomiris is an impressive movie and a story that is long overdue in getting a proper cinematic treatment. Tomiris should be right there alongside other historical women like Joan of Arc, Mulan, Cleopatra, Queen Lydia Liliuokalani, Wu Zetian, Empress Suiko, Nefertiti, and Eleanor of Aquitaine.

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