Viet Nam News
By Thu Anh
HCM CITY — As in previous years, filmmakers will release new productions to lure moviegoers to cinemas during the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday.
Thiên Phúc Studio, one of HCM City’s private film companies, will screen its comedy Trạng Quỳnh (Dr Quỳnh) on February 5, the first day of the lunar calendar.
The producer delayed the screening schedule for a month because he wanted to “guarantee our film’s financial success,” said the film’s director Đức Thịnh.
Thịnh promises his film will appeal to both young audiences and adults.
Trạng Quỳnh is based on Vietnamese folk tales about the tricks of Nguyễn Quỳnh, a scholar from Thanh Hóa Province who lived under the Lê-Trịnh reign between 1696 and 1718.
Quỳnh was famous for his voice and representation of the poor. He has been loved by many Vietnamese generations.
The film is about Quỳnh’s journey to rescue his teacher and two friends who are part of the "lower class” in the old feudal society.
“I used Quốc Anh, a young actor from Hà Nội, to play Quỳnh because I saw his potential in comedy. I wanted my film to offer something new to audiences,” said Thịnh, who has more than 20 years of experience in the industry.
“Not only does it bring laughter but my film also recreates the atmosphere of feudalism, oppression and struggle. It brings to light the optimism and desire for justice in society.”
The film includes famous comedian Trấn Thành and actress Nhã Phương, winner of Best Actress at the Cánh Diều Vàng (Golden Kite) Awards from the Việt Nam Cinematography Association last year.
Thịnh’s latest comedy film, Siêu Sao Siêu Ngố (Super Star- Supper Silly), earned more than VNĐ107 billion ($4.58 million) in ticket sales last holiday season.
“I hope that Trạng Quỳnh will repeat the success,” Thịnh said.
Producer Nhất Trung’s Cua Lại Vợ Bầu (Love Again) is a full-length comedy starring Ninh Dương Lan Ngọc, winner of the Golden Kite Best Actress award in 2010 and 2015.
The comedy features the theme of love and has exciting action.
Trung, who is also the film’s director, said that comedies are a favourite genre during the holiday season.
Another comedy, Táo Quậy (Kitchen God Acts), made by newcomer Toàn Joshua, is about Ông Táo (Kitchen God) who leaves for heaven to report about his family to the God of Heaven on the 23rd of the last lunar month. He returns to the kitchen on the 30th.
Vietnamese families often clean their kitchens and worship Ông Táo to prepare for his trip.
With its veteran and talented cast, including Lê Bình, Trung Dân and Bạch Long, the film is expected to be a hit with audiences.
Cua Lại Vợ Bầu and Ông Táo will be released on February 5.
Film director and producer Lê Thiện Viễn has taken a more adventurous turn by releasing Vu Quy Đại Náo (Fire in Wedding), a week after Tết on Valentine’s Day.
“My film is a love story. I think young audiences will identify with my story," said Viễn, who began his career as a photographer in 2009.
Viễn invited actresses Diệu Nhi, Phi Phụng and Vietnamese-American Việt Hương to act in his film. Vu Quy Đại Náo is the only person expected to buck the trend of the holiday season, which is invariably dominated by comedies. — VNS