An Định Palace where Empress Nam Phương lived is reappeared in the music video of singer Hòa Minzy. — Photo courtesy of the artist
HÀ NỘI — The music video Không Thể Cùng Nhau Suốt Kiếp (We Can’t Be Together Eternally) by singer Hoà Minzy has wowed viewers thanks to its accurate depiction of the wedding ceremony of Emperor Bảo Đại and Empress Nam Phương, the last royal family of Việt Nam.
The history-inspired video has garnered more than 21 million views on YouTube since its May 13 release and is currently third on the YouTube trending list for the country.
Minzy played the role of Empress Nam Phương, the last empress of the Nguyễn Dynasty (1802–1945). Through the song written by Mr Siro and the video directed by Kawaii Tuấn Anh, she told the sorrowful story of the empress.
On the wedding day, she was given a golden tiara and the title 'Her Imperial Majesty'. Bảo Đại promised to have only one wife and would be faithful to her till the end of life, which was unusual at the time as like in other Asian countries, kings of Việt Nam had many wives and concubines.
Nam Phương lived in happiness and glory initially, but Bảo Đại didn’t keep his promise. He married several other women during the time serving as 'supreme advisor' in Hà Nội and living abroad. The Empress lived in loneliness in An Định Palace in Huế, the former capital.
Minzy said it took two years to carry out the project as she and the crew wanted to recreate the historical events truthfully and emotionally.
“We wanted to create an art space where audiences can feel deeply the love story and sorrow of Empress Nam Phương, the content and attitude of the song are very matching with the historical story,” said Minzy.
Minzy told Việt Nam News that her team consulted photos, documents and books to imagine the life of the empress. They also visited relics in Huế and consulted researchers.
The crew of 200 members finished shooting and producing the video in six months. Many beautiful scenes of Huế city are shown such as the Royal Citadel, An Định Palace and Hương River. In addition, nhã nhạc (royal music) and hò Huế (the folk singing of Huế) are used in some parts of the video.
“I sympathised with the empress, firstly she believed that she is the happiest woman in the world, then she was betrayed, I cried a lot during shooting,” said Minzy.
Explaining the inspiration of the video, Minzy said she didn't want to create a product for entertainment only, but something educational.
“The history and traditional culture of the country are respectful that’s why I invested much time, effort and money for the video,” she said.
“I hope to inspire the passion for history and culture to my audiences who are younger.”
The royal costumes were designed and made by Ỷ Vân Hiên Company. The wedding ceremony with rituals, costumes and music was totally based on historical documents.
Hòa Minzy (right) plays Empress Nam Phương in the scene reappearing wedding ceremony of the Empress and Emperor Bảo Đại (actor Nguyễn Xuân Phúc). — Photo courtesy of the artist
Phan Thiên Định, vice chairman of the People's Committee of the central province of Thừa Thiên-Huế, said he watched the nine-minute long video and other behind-the-scene clips and was very impressed.
“I feel moved when I watch the video, Minzy told the story emotionally through music, Minzy has a beautiful voice, the video captured the spectacular scenes in Huế,” he said.
“It really helps promote the history and the image of Huế city to the world as Minzy is one of the top singers. I believe that it’s a creative way to introduce history to the younger population and popularise tourism and culture.” — VNS