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Posted under Japanese Movies by admin on Thursday 26 February 2009 at 16:59

Sabu 2002


This evocative action/drama film from director Takashi Miike (FULL METAL YAKUZA) follows the life of Eiji (Tatsuya Fujiwara), an inmate of Ishikawa Island prison camp. Having been incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit, Eiji relies on his faithful friend in the outside world, Sabu (Satoshi Tsumabuki), to prove his innocence. Fans of Miike’s inimitable style will find much to love here, with the director pulling off some spectacular set pieces, alongside some moving performances from his leads. Based on a popular Japanese novel by Shugoro Yamamoto, SABU is an absorbing tale, executed with panache and flair by the cast and crew.

The film stars Satoshi Tsumabuki (”Dragonhead”) as the titular Sabu, a passive, ineffectual young man who lives in a small town with his friend Eiji (Tatsuya Fujiwara), who is the exact opposite of Sabu personality-wise. Aggressive and stubborn, Eiji has looked out for Sabu ever since they were kids. They are also friends with Osue (Kazue Fukiishi), but it’s obvious both have feelings for her, although neither knows it. One day Eiji is accused of theft and sentenced to an island prison, even though he claims to be innocent.

“Sabu” is a period film, taking place in the time of the Samurai, not that it matters because the film is about everyday people in small towns. Eiji’s incarceration is quick — we don’t see a trial and the film immediately jumps to Eiji being transported to the island as soon as the opening credits dissolve away. We don’t even see, or know, what Eiji has been convicted off until later on. This leaves Sabu and other friends of Eiji, including a working girl, looking for answers. They are simply told Eiji was “fired” from his job.

There are a lot of things to like about “Sabu”. It is visually pleasing to the eye, with a number of moody, atmospheric scenes that look like landscape paintings. Our first image of the film is a woman hanging from a tree, but the frame composition is so haunting you almost forget you’re looking at a dead woman. As Eiji struggles to adjust to life in prison, Sabu stumbles about their small town trying to find answers. The stark difference between the two friends come through — Eiji in prison, going about life perfectly fine using his fists, while Sabu can barely defend himself in the free world.

Release: (2002)

Genre: Action/Drama

Director: Takashi Miike

ScreenPlay: Hiroshi Takeyama

Novel: Shugoro Yamamoto

Tatsuya Fujiwara …. Eiji
Satoshi Tsumabuki …. Sabu
Tomoko Tabata …. Onobu

Runtime: 2 hrs 2 mins

Format: Rmvb w/English hard Subs


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