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Critic Reviews for Sacrifice
With its widescreen compositions and flame-illuminated interiors, "Sacrifice" is visually entrancing. Yet the movie is not just an exercise in style.
It is handsomely done and well-acted, but it lacks real energy or purpose.
Perhaps it's all that armor, or that even the estimable Mr. Wang seems exhausted by the film's dolorous themes, but it's tough to care about characters who spend most of their lives obsessing over the violent deaths of others.
Chen Kaige (Farewell My Concubine) cowrote and directed, and his talent for psychological drama isn't really suited to this sort of broad, mythic storytelling.
It charges out of the gate in Indiana Jones style, employing so many plot twists that you may need a scorecard. Then after an hour or so, it settles into an intimate, character-driven drama, before its low-key yet thought-provoking finale.
Audience Reviews for Sacrifice
A heart-wrenching, and brilliant story, with incredible acting. For drama lovers, not action lovers...even though there was plenty enough of that for me, too. I had no idea that this was directed by the same man (Kaige Chen) that was responsible for The Emperor and the Assassin, and Farewell My Concubine...both excellent movies. No wonder I enjoyed this so much. :)
To make a long story short, Tu Angu(Xueqi Wang) pulls off the perfect murder by not only murdering the grand councillor and getting away with it, but also framing the Zhao clan, condemning every last one of them to death. That is with the exception of the one just delivered by Cheng Ying(You Ge). In the following confusion, that baby gets confused with Cheng's. After which, Cheng's wife, son and a couple of other people die but the infant Xhao makes it out of there alive, as Cheng raises him as his own, waiting for the day when he can tell him the truth.
To its credit, "Sacrifice" seeks to intelligently explore such important themes as loyalty, family and identity in a handsomely produced format. So, it is a shame that the movie is so very awkwardly edited. First, there is the set-up that pretty much goes on forever, with its focus on soon-to-be irrelevant details of court politics and even might double back on itself at one point. And then after that, the movie just sort of sits there, endlessly dragging towards its obviously painful conclusion and therefore wasting any kind of dramatic potential in the bargain.
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