With a quartet of fine characters and performances, The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea could have ventured just about anywhere – except where writer-director Lewis John Carlino takes it in an effort to remain faithful to Yukio Mishima’s novel.
Cultural differences still remain in this increasingly homogenized world and the prime problem with Sailor is trying to transfer decidedly Oriental ideas about honor, order and death into an English countryside.
Mishima’s novel was about a Japanese widow who falls in love with a sailor. At first attracted to the sailor as an honorable symbol, her 13-year-old son defends him before his gang of idealistic schoolmates. But when the sailor leaves the sea to marry, the boy and his gang feel betrayed and plot to kill him to restore his purity.
On film, the story won’t settle down with these upper-class young English lads.