In Viet Nam, Facebook statuses are a good indicator of which movies are proving popular at the box office. The films “I See Yellow Flowers On The Green Grass” and "I Am Your Grandmother" are two recent examples of the domestic film industry’s success.
About two to three months ago on Facebook, the largest social network in Việt Nam, people started posting statuses starting with the phrase “I see”.
For example: “I see a girl passing me”, “I see a cloud in the sky”, and “I see nothing in something”. Most people know that this trend began due to the popularity of a movie named I See Yellow Flowers On The Green Grass by Vietnamese-American director Victor Vu.
“You can easily know what movies, especially Vietnamese movies, are hot in the cinema just by reading Facebook,” said Ngô Thùy Linh, a 20-year-old viewer.
Just as I See Yellow Flowers On The Green Grass, the recently launched movie I Am Your Grandmother is also influencing many Facebookers, as they write such phrases as “I am your tiger” and “I am ... more than your grandmother”.
The two movies, launched in early October and September last year, are seen as big money makers in an era in which cinema has become a lucrative business. In its first month, I See Yellow Flowers on The Green Grass took in VNĐ78 billion, while I Am Your Grandmother saw box office sales of VNĐ90 billion, both setting records in Vietnamese cinema. Further, I Am Your Grandmother has continued to be shown and its revenues have exceeded VNĐ100 billion.
“I think Vietnamese movies are much better now. Movies made by private firms can approach and lure viewers of different ages because they are well invested,” Trần Trung Đức, 25, noted.
Duc is noting a key point that has attracted viewers to cinema in recent years. It is known that I See Yellow Flowers on The Green Grass marks the co-operation of the State and private sector, in which Victor Vũ – a man who is famous for a number of well-invested movies, such as Quả Tim Máu (Vengeful Heart) and Scandal 1,2, was the director. Meanwhile, I Am Your Grandmother is a private movie directed by cinema critic Phan Gia Nhật Linh – who has a sharp eye and distinguished style.
“I love I See Yellow Flowers on The Green Grass’ because it is adapted from the story with the same name by Nguyễn Nhật Ánh – my favourite writer,” said Hoàng Thu Hằng, 30. “The story is pure, innocent and touching. I love the cast. Despite having little acting experience, they showed the deep layers in the emotions of the characters. It revives my childhood memories.”
In contrast to the enthusiasm of viewers before launching I See Yellow Flowers on The Green Grass, the production crew of I Am Your Grandmother had to prove themselves because of the successful Korean version, entitled Miss Granny.
“If the Korean version is more fun, the Vietnamese version can balance the humorous elements and humanitarian values,” Hằng said.
“I love Miu Lê [the main actress] in the movie. She acts smoothly and truly. She sings very well. The supporting actors and actresses are awesome. It is a rare Vietnamese movie in which no one is strained in their acting,” Ngô Thanh Tú, 27, added.
In order to lure viewers to Vietnamese movies, there needs to be many elements, including a good script, a brilliant director, a beautiful cast, natural acting, well designed costume, good music, great cinematography, and more. In the era of competition with movies from the US, Japan, South Korea, and China, a well-designed PR plan is also counted upon as an important factor.
“A Vietnamese movie just needs to be smooth, beautiful and project Vietnamese values. Vietnamese viewers will always go back to Vietnamese cinema,” Cao Minh Tú, 29, noted. -- VNS