Picks and Pans Review: For Sasha

updated 07/20/1992 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/20/1992 01:00AM

Sophie Marceau, Richard Berry

Marceau, a glowing beauty who can also act, is the main reason to see this talky drama set in Israel during the 1967 war. With fervid grace, she plays a 19-year-old violinist at the center of a ménage à cinq. Her appeal aside, Sasha sinks under the weight of too much plot and too little character development.

At the movie's start, Marceau moves from Paris with her middle-aged lover and former teacher Sasha—played by Berry (Shadows of the Past)—to an Israeli kibbutz. Although fully able to commit himself to his new country, Sasha is unable to commit himself to his young mistress, never telling her-that he loves her. and rolling in the hay—well, actually, in a truckload of newly picked cotton—with another sweet young thing.

Enter three postadolescent swains (Fabien Orcier, Niels Dubost, Frederic Quiring), all in love with Marceau and all former students of Sasha's. They have come to visit, each hoping to convince Marceau that he is her true Prince Charming. No sooner do they arrive than war breaks out, which serves primarily as a backdrop for all five to confront their collective past (and a humdinger of a dark secret) and make peace with their present.

As directed and cowritten by Alexandre Arcady, For Sasha has its moments, especially in its scenes of kibbutz life and a meal shared between an Arab worker and Marceau, but not enough of them. (In French, with subtitles; not rated)

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