Viet Nam News
HCM CITY – Famous cải lương (reformed theatre) actress Ngọc Giàu appears to have further enhanced her talent in a leading role in the new film Sài Gòn, Anh Yêu Em (Sài Gòn, I Love You).
Giàu and her partners, the film’s directors Lý Minh Thắng and Tài Đỗ, worked together on the screenplay for the film, which will be released tonight.
The 90-minute film features five couples who come from different places and backgrounds but choose Sài Gòn - HCM City as their home.
The film features stories about love, life and work that each couple faces.
Through the film, the culture and lifestyle of Saigonese are highlighted.
After its premiere in HCM City on Tuesday, Sài Gòn, Anh Yêu Em was praised by many viewers.
People’s Artist Giàu said she worked hard to “prove myself to perform in a movie.”
In the film, Giàu plays Ba, a veteran cải lương actress, who falls in love with her colleague, Sáu, played by Meritorious Artist Thanh Nam.
Ba was at the peak of her artistry and fame. Like many of her peers, she spent her entire life on stage, deciding to forget marriage and children.
Ba meets Sáu when both are not young. They face challenges in their relationship.
“Cải lương is my soul and blood. I thought the art is my only love. I see myself in Ba,” the 71-year-old said.
Born to a poor family in Sài Gòn, Giàu began her love for cải lương at an early age. When she was 12 years old, she first performed on stage singing vọng cổ (nostalgic tunes), a southern genre of traditional music.
Two years later, she worked for the Kim Chưởng Troupe, one of the region’s leading cải lương troupes.
In 1960, she was a member of the Thanh Minh-Thanh Nga Troupe, learning with skilled performers like Phùng Há and Bảy Nam, who were recognised as gurus of the art.
She played leading and supporting roles in dozens of famous plays, including Đời Cô Lựu (The Life of Ms Lựu) and Thái Hậu Dương Vân Nga (Queen Mother Dương Vân Nga). Her strong voice and dance skills left a strong impression on audiences.
She has participated in more than 70 plays and dozens of videos and films.
"Over the years I have faced many challenges in my attempt to achieve success," said Giàu, who has received several prizes for best cải lương performer at national theatre festivals and competitions.
By performing in Sài Gòn, Anh Yêu Em, Giàu hopes her work will encourage young audiences to learn more about the traditional art of cải lương, she said.
“I hope theatre lovers will go to the cinema for my film. I believe my fans will feel a new taste of cải lương in the movie,” said Giàu, adding that, thanks to audiences’ support, veteran artists like her could continue to climb even higher heights of their art.— VNS