Sacrifice | Chicago Reader

Sacrifice

Rated R 127 minutes

Based on a 13th-century play and set almost two millennia earlier, this Chinese revenge saga (2010) begins with a noble doctor (Ge You, one of China's biggest stars) sacrificing his child to an invading army in order to save the infant son of his town's chancellor. The doctor raises the boy as his own, keeping his true origins a secret; things come to a head years later, when the invading general, who's since taken over as chancellor, decides to make the boy his protege. 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. The film is handsome and engaging enough, but it looks pretty stolid next to an energetic crowd-pleaser like Let the Bullets Fly, another 2010 period spectacle that featured Ge. In Mandarin with subtitles.

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