- TV Movie
- 2h 2m
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.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.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.
The photography - the palette - the attention to small historical details, to nature, to emotions is fine.
But I think of structure - ideas like exposition, rising action, peripetie, moment of final tension, denouement - and of Compte and Manon - and the French works seem more selective in their focus, as though examining a small group (the key parties to the action) under a microscope. Each fully. The good and the bad have their reasons, their views of life. Rising moments of tension are interspersed or silhouetted against pastoral moments or even comic or rustic relief.
Here, in Sabu, I sometimes felt the scenery stole the show - i.e., that the action or development stalled. I sometimes felt the focus was confused - that more attention should have been given to Osue, Sabu, Onobu - and certainly more to Roku and to the old fellow prisoner who is so supportive.
But I don't suggest Sabu fails to expose and delicately develop a host of characters - it does, but leaves us wanting more. And I sense a certain ideal "ratio" between the length of the film and the height and depth of its emotional swings has been violated. In Sabu, I find the rise and development of such moments too lengthy, or too understated to support the film's overall length in full dramatic fashion.
Still, there are wonderfully moving and touching moments, people we wish we could know better, even a growing understanding of a society and a time in history. Characters who appear cruel become sensitive and supportive, characters who appear innocent have their failings, and there's nature and fate and a possibility of achieving true happiness through resignation. Its world may be more accommodating than that of Manon.
I highly recommend this film. Despite weaknesses it's thought provoking. It's beautiful. It's humanist. I'll rate it a 9.
- Apr 20, 2005