Coming to DVD this Tuesday from Indomina Releasing and Vivendi Entertainment along with director Kaige Chen of FARWELL MY CONCUBINE fame comes another beautiful tale of SACRIFICE.
This film tells the story of the Zhao clan of the Yuan Dynasty in the 5th century B.C. As a coupe begins, the royal Lady who is pregnant tries to escape. Her doctor Cheng Ying (You Ge) delivers the child in the middle of the city’s rampage. Knowing that General Tu’an Gu (Xueqi Wang) overthrowing the Zhao will kill everyone, including her baby she turns to Cheng Ying.
As Cheng Ying tries to escape he is stopped by Han Jue (Xiaoming Huang) and a pact is made. General Tu’an takes all the cities babies in order to make sure the Zhao bloodline is obliterated and murders Cheng Ying’s wife.
With lives destroyed and families wiped out, Cheng Yin raises his son Cheng Bo and with no way to survive turns to living in the home of the General. Cheng Bo Wang Zue-Qi) grows up considering the General to be his godfather.
Cheng Ying and Han Jue spend years contemplating the downfall of the General and as Cheng Bo grows, he learns what his role is to be and must choose between the love of his father and the power of war.
FINAL WORD: Ge as Cheng Ying is silently powerful. Doing what is right for him are decisions made quickly to save everyone. Ge’s face shows the pain and angst of a father and is so believable as such. Even with revenge on his mind there is a part of him that cannot resolve the conflict. Well done!
Huang as Han Jue as the co-conspirator is a warrior and sees Cheng Ying as a man devastated by the past and with good reason. There is a relationship based on honoring the dead, especially when the General himself shows no remorse.
Wang as General Tu’an Gu is merciless and has only one goal, to wipe out the Zhao clan and take everything for himself. There is no mercy when he takes the village children hostage and it is clear feelings are not an issue for him. As he becomes Cheng Bo’s godfather, age and emotion do play role in his feelings for the boy. His hardness quickly returns and he once again stands against anyone who will challenge him – even a boy he loves.
Zue-Qi as the young Cheng Bo also has harsh realities to face and decisions that must be made. Truly torn between his father and General Tu’an he won’t even listen to Han Jue when the time comes to face his life.
Director Kaige Chen is responsible for some of the most amazing films to come out of Asia that include FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE, THE EMPORER AND THE ASSASSIN, TOGETHER and THE PROMISE. Each one beautifully told and amazingly shot.
Other cast include: Bingbing Fan as Zhuang Ji, Wenzhuo Zhao as Zhao Dun, Hai-Qing, William Wang, and Fengyi Zhang.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give SACRIFICE four tubs of popcorn out of five. The cinematography is truly beautiful, the costumes are stunning and the storyline is filled with revenge and sadness in this 130 minute film. It is such a powerful story between father and son and the decisions that are made with honor and true promises kept.
SACRIFICE was the top box office film in China for two weeks and is based on the classic play ORPHAN OF ZHAO, the first Chinese play known to Europe and written by Ji Jun-Xiang. The screenplay written by Ningyu Zhao is sublime and quite moving.
In the end – he is a child caught between two worlds.