Sacrifice (2010)

Sacrifice tells an epic tale of revenge, family feuds, tragedy and paternal love.

Posted June 15, 2013 by
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Sacrifice

 
Film Info
 

Director(s): Kaige Chen
 
Writer(s): Ningyu Zhao
 
Starring: You Ge, Xueqi Wang, Xiaoming Huang
 
Genre: Drama
 
Synopsis: After a tyrannical army general in a Chinese province plans a military coup to overthrow the royal family and their advising family, a lone surviving child grows up to learn of the murder of his parents and seeks his revenge.
 
US Release Date: 27 July 2012
 
UK DVD Release: 24 May 2013
 
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3/5


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Our Film Review:

While Chinese cinema might mean for some watching the latest Jackie Chan film or revisiting some Bruce Lee classics, not forgetting the massive Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the genre itself has much more to offer and it’s likely we’re going to see more of it as Hollywood and Chinese film studios collaborate more and more.

Sacrifice features an atypical Chinese film plot of paternal love, friendship, honour, tragedy and revenge. This time a tyrannical and jealous army general organises a military coup to overthrow the royal family and the Zhao clan who have been their loyal advisors for many years. To ensure that the entire clan is wiped out the general searches for the King’s new born grandson to kill him. The loyal royal doctor however switches the baby with his own son, sacrificing him so that they royal lineage may survive.

Crazy, we know.

As time goes on, and the boy grows up, the doctor plots to seek his revenge against the general and trains the boy in martial arts and discipline by using disgraced officers from the general’s army and even the general himself, who makes the boy his godson, with no idea that the boy is not who the doctor says he is.

It’s a great film but the plot is full of twists and turns that are sometimes a little difficult to follow. Relationships that have had no mention for much of the film are suddenly developed or alluded to, adding to the web of deceit and connection between the characters. In many ways the complexity of the storyline adds to its beauty and also shows the lengths that the main characters are willing to go to achieve their revenge. In other ways it just complicates the story in a way that distracts the viewer from its simple but tragic conclusion.

It’s beautifully shot, the Chinese landscape and architecture will always look at home in cinema, and while the martial arts choreography isn’t the most complex its simplicity does add a certain element of realism to it.

If your experience of Chinese cinema is limited then do watch this film as it’s quite a good introduction to the genre and the stories that play out so predominantly in their films. We enjoyed it, even if we were scratching our heads a little trying to work out exactly who was related to who.


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