‘Rise of Empires: Ottoman Mehmed vs. Vlad’ is season 2 of the titular docudrama series and this time it’s a retelling and dramatic representation of the battle between the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II and Vlad the Impaler.
It’s been years since Mehmed II took over Constantinople and now he eyes the west. However, there’s a blockade in the path of his European conquest — prince of Wallachia, Vlad Țepeș.
Vlad and his brother were left at the Ottoman Imperial palace as guarantees for his undying loyalty to the Sultan. While the younger Radu was more cordial and loyal to his new family, Vlad felt like a prisoner constantly in the shadow of Mehmed II.
He’d later go on to take the helm of the Ottoman’s vassal state of Wallachia, the region his family has been ruling over for ages. However, Vlad isn’t loyal to Mehmed and his arrogance only grows stronger with time.
Fears of Vlad colluding with the Hungarians plague the Ottoman palace and Mehmed finally takes action. He summons Vlad but he disrespects the Sultan really badly.
The time for battle has come and Mehmed sets off with all his might and soldiers to defeat Vlad the Impaler. The battle rages on and Radu also accompanies the Ottoman Sultan, amid constant clouds of doubt over his loyalty.
Vlad employs guerilla tactics to deal significant blows to Mehmed’s army but the sheer size of the latter’s forces overwhelms Vlad, while the Hungarian reinforcements take too long to arrive.
Vlad’s wife dies, his spies in the Ottoman army and imperial palace get weeded out, and the men in his army begin to succumb to the dire situation.
After a lot of war horrors and Vlad’s torture-fueled nightmare later, the battle comes to an end. While Vlad flees from Târgoviște, Mehmed gets Radu coronated and sat on the Wallachian throne as the new Prince.
Fifteen years after the Night Attack at Târgoviște, Vlad is killed and his decapitated head is impaled on a stake. Mehmed II visits the sight and finally dowses out the flame of frustration he’s felt for so long failing to kill him.
There are great performances across the board and ‘Rise of Empires: Ottoman Mehmed vs. Vlad’ benefits a lot from a slate of talented actors.
Although it’s a docuseries and the general rule for the dramatic representations parts of documentaries is that they don’t exactly have the best acting demonstration. ‘Rise of Empires: Ottoman’ season 2 doesn’t suffer from this problem.
Owing to the six-episode run, the pacing is really great and it’s a fast-paced course in a significant chapter of history.
The production value is off the charts and the costumes (although not exactly the most accurate in the colour department), are a treat to behold.
There’s a tendency of many contemporary media to represent real events with acting, dialogue, and visual literacy that feels a bit too modern and takes the viewer out of the immersion.
There are many instances in ‘Rise of Empires: Ottoman’ season 2 where what happens on the screen, what the narrator says, and what the experts say in the interview bits — all have the same content.
It gives rise to a lot of redundancy and one might be left wondering if all the aspects of the storytelling here need to repeat the same thing or be there at all.
Even with all the impaling and gory horrors that Vlad inflicts on his enemies, the series is severely lacking in any impactful sequence of horror or dread, making even the supposedly shocking parts a bore.
‘Rise of Empires: Ottoman’ season 2 ‘Mehmed vs. Vlad’ is a competent docudrama that makes for a quick and effective binge.
However, there’s not that much to chew on or be awestruck by, especially when the subject matter contains a diabolical historical figure like Vlad the Impaler.
Rise of Empires: Ottoman season 2 'Mehmed Vs Vlad'
Director: Emre Şahin
Date Created: 2022-12-29 13:30