(Optimum DVD retail)
This might have been Kazakhstan’s official entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars, and was several years in the making, but the end result is weary with predictability. Like many a big budget film, freedom in budget often requires numerous constraints in story and character. Nomad tells the tale of a boy in the 18th century who grows up to be a tough warrior capable of uniting three tribes who have fought each other and all-comers for centuries. Along the way, our hero (Kuno Becker) will have to endure hardships – and the audience numerous clichés – as he befriends another boy and they both fall in love with the young girl they hang out with as she burgeons into the village beauty. The music is constantly egging us on to have feelings that the script hasn’t worked hard enough to justify. Co-directed by Sergei Mongol Bodrov and legendary Czech/American writer and director Ivan Passer (Cutter’s Way, Silver Bears, The Fireman’s Ball), this understandably aims directly at the mainstream, but has nothing more than the grandiose landscapes to recommend it. Minimal extras.