6.5/10
372
10 user 13 critic

Sabu (2002)

When a young man is sent to a prison workhouse for a crime he did not commit his friend on the outside must find evidence to clear his name.

Director:

Takashi Miike

Writers:

Yô Takeyama (screenplay) (as Hiroshi Takeyama), Shûgorô Yamamoto (novel)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Tatsuya Fujiwara ... Eiji
Satoshi Tsumabuki ... Sabu
Tomoko Tabata Tomoko Tabata ... Nobuko
Kazue Fukiishi Kazue Fukiishi ... Osue
Kenji Sawada Kenji Sawada ... Okayasu
Naomasa Musaka Naomasa Musaka ... Matsuda
Tatsuo Yamada Tatsuo Yamada ... Ryojiro Kojima
Yoshiki Arizono Yoshiki Arizono ... Yohei
Keisuke Horibe
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ken'ichi Endô Ken'ichi Endô ... Giichi
Mayuko Nishiyama Mayuko Nishiyama ... Osono
Ren Osugi ... Heizo (as Ren Ôsugi)
Hiroshi Tamaki ... Kinta
Yôji Tanaka Yôji Tanaka ... Toku
Yujiro Taniyama Yujiro Taniyama
Edit

Storyline

A tale set in the Tokugawa Era. Framed for a crime he did not commit, Eiji is subjected to the harsh realities of the Ishikawa Island workhouse. Sabu, Eiji's longtime friend, must discover who is responsible for Eiji's incarceration, before the prison life consumes him completely. Written by blaza

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

jidai geki | based on novel | See All (2) »

Taglines:

Other People Don't Matter

Genres:

Action | Drama

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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

14 May 2002 (Japan) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
Mixed feelings
29 December 2003 | by simon_boothSee all my reviews

First things first, this isn't a Samurai movie as it is sometimes advertised. It's a period film set in the time of the Samurai, but the main characters are just normal folk. I might also mention that despite the film being named after the character Sabu, it spends almost the whole time focussed on his friend Eiji (played by Tatsuya Fujiwara of Battle Royale fame).

It's hard to recognise the influence of director Takashi Miike here, as it features none of his usual over-the-top madness. However, it's another film that shows the director to be capable of far more than just shocking the audience with violence.

However, I still reckon it amongst the weakest of 20 or so Miike films that I've seen. As a drama it's quite well made, but I was left largely unmoved by it. I wasn't quite sure what message or feeling I was meant to take away, and after 2 hours I felt that I still didn't really know or understand the characters that well. It felt like we were just getting part of a larger story, and what we glimpsed wasn't enough to fully appreciate it.

That said, it was nice to see Tatsuya Fujiwara in a non-Battle Royale setting, though the film indicates as one might expect from one so young that his acting really isn't that great without Kinji Fukasaku and a strong screenplay behind him.

Overall, I feel that it's a film I could have appreciated more if I'd known up front what it was about (no Samurai!), but that I don't expect to watch again any time soon to find out.


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