Vietnam recently experienced the hottest film release of the year!! The new comedy romantic film De Mai Tinh, translated ‘Fool for love’ featured Dustin Nguyen, Truc ‘Charlie’ Nguyen, and Kathy Uyen and was directed by Vietnam’s biggest actor/director Truc ‘Charlie’ Nguyen. The film premiered at the White Palace featuring 1,000 special guests and acclaimed guest-list including movie-stars, singers, actors, and producers of the industry.
April 23 2010 was the much anticipated opening night that amazingly attracted 45,000 fans across cinemas in HCM city, bringing more than VND 2 billion (approximately US$100,000) into the box office within 3 days of it’s release date.
De Mai Tinh brought together the best of the best from producers, film-makers, actors/actresses, and singers such as Australian-Vietnamese Idol finalist Thanh Bui, and top female icon Ho Ngoc Ha with the hottest song collaboration, “Lang Tham Mot Tinh Yeu/ A Silent Love.” This film, among the first of its kind to be revamped by a successful film crew from a mix of both local and international producers, introduces to audiences flavors of Vietnam’s modernism, pop culture, and the luxurious lifestyle of the rich and famous. There were many scenes in the trailer where I could not believe were filmed in Vietnam!
The story follows a captivating tale of humor, trial, love, and pursuit between a hotel clerk Dung (Dustin Nguyen) and his love-at-first-sight with a beautiful lounge singer Mai (Kathy Uyen). His fearless love brings him to leave his job in chase of his affections for her only to find her involved with a wealthy real-estate mogul. Mai becomes torn between her professional career which depends on her relationship with the wealthy real-estate mogul.
Comedy ensues as the penniless clerk, in order to finance his pursuit of love, is forced to shack up with a very rich but very gay businessman looking for a male companion. Now Dung and Mai are faced with the test of faith as he continues his pursuit of Mai while Mai struggles to choose between true love or a stable future with the real estate mogul. Dung and Mai’s journey is filled with rolling-on-the-floor humor, unexpected twists, and brings the audience to ultimately question, ‘Will their love prevail?’
Success of the film was unlike any other due to a special collaboration between local and foreign film-makers. International experts worked closely with the Vietnamese crew and introduced new technical skills and film technology. American cameraman Dominic Pereira participated in this close collaboration by dedicating his time and sharing his experience. The cinematography highlights the hip and bold culture emerging in the Vietnamese elites – fancy cars and clothes, modern mansions, private yachts, and breathaking beach resorts .
New opportunities eagerly await the growing Viet Nam-based film industry, and De Mai Tinh gives evidence to the success that both international and local collaboration could bring. It is also important to note the difficulty and seldom occasion that Asians are mentioned in the mainstream media. I would argue that this film deserves mainstream recognition and I hope with the recent successes of modern Vietnamese films, we can soon raise our glasses to celebrate the growth of Vietnamese Media.
———— Check out the Film stills!!———–
Grab a friend! Check out the trailer and be dazzled!
The hottest song in Vietnam “Lang Tham Mot Tinh Yeu/ A Silent Love” features the dynamic duo Thanh Bui, an Australian-Vietnamese singer/musician and Australian Idol finalist, and the top Vietnamese singer, Ho Ngoc Ha. Thanh Bui has one of the most unique and sexiest voice in the industry!
Looking for other hip Vietnamese movies? Try Passport to Love (Chuyen Tinh Xa Xu).
Your Answer Needed: What are some good Vietnamese made films you have seen recently?