|Laughs ahead: A scene from Thánh Năm Rực Rỡ (Sunny), a new movie from director Nguyễn Quang Dũng, screens on February 14 during Tết. (Photo courtesy of the producer).|
HCM CITY — As in previous years, filmmakers in HCM City are releasing comedies to lure moviegoers to cinemas during Tết (Lunar New Year).
Producer Ngô Thanh Vân, one of the industry’s very few female film directors, has released the comedy Về Quê Ăn Tết (Returning Home for Tết) last week.
Directed by Nguyễn Hoàng Anh, who is also the film’s scriptwriter, the film promises to appeal to both young audiences and adults.
Về Quê Ăn Tết tells the story of a young driver, played by Jun Phạm who faces problems on his trip to return home before Tết.
Young actors Ngọc Tưởng, Oanh Kiều and Hải Triều also feature in the film.
"My film has comedy and exciting action, and is about serious issues like love and life," said Vân, whose third film Cô Ba Sài Gòn (The Tailor) was named ’Face of Asia’ in the category “A Window on Asian Cinema” at the 22nd Busan International Film Festival in Busan, Korea last year.
The film earned nearly VNĐ70 billion (US$3 million) in ticket sales after three weeks of release. Vân hopes this Tết her new production Về Quê Ăn Tết will repeat its success.
Director Văn Công Diễn’s Yêu Em Bất Chấp (My Sassy Girl) is a Vietnamese version of the Korean film with the same name. It is full-length comedy starred veteran actors Việt Anh, Hữu Châu and Mỹ Uyên.
The film also features movie star Trương Ngọc Ánh and pop star Đàm Vĩnh Hưng, both playing supporting roles. Director Diễn said comedies were a perennial favourite with audiences, even more so during the festive season.
Another comedy, 789Mười (789Ten), directed by Vietnamese-American actor, film scriptwriter and producer Dustin Nguyễn, is also in the offing. It focuses on urban life.
The film’s director Dustin invited Kiều Minh Tuấn and Thu Trang, the region’s most famous comedians, to act in his work.
“Both Tuấn and Trang are talented actors. Their fans will guarantee my film’s success,” said Dustin, who has the reputation of making quality films.
Yêu Em Bất Chấp and 789Mười will be released on February 18.
Veteran director Trần Ngọc Giàu’s Đích Tôn Độc Đắc (Eldest Son) will be released on Wednesday (February 14). The film has plenty of visual and sound effects.
With its young and attractive cast, including Bạch Công Khanh, Thanh Vy and Bella Mai, Chi, the film is expected to be a draw with young audiences.
Nguyễn Quang Dũng has taken a more adventurous turn by releasing his romantic drama, Tháng Năm Rực Rỡ (Sunny), a week before Tết.
It stars top fashion model and actress Thanh Hằng, veteran actresses Mỹ Duyên and Mỹ Uyên. The director used dozens of make-up artists and fashion designers for the film.
"I think young audiences will identify with my story," said Dũng.
His film is the only one expected to buck the trend of the holiday season which is invariably dominated by comedies.
The Tết holiday begins on February 14. — VNS