return icon Vietnamnet.vn

Failure of Vietnamese literary film adaptations

The tragic level of box office revenue of most films that have been adapted from books is examined by cinema critic Nguyen Phong Viet.

Low gross revenue does not necessarily reflect the true value of a movie. However, around 90% of the down-market films obviously just attract limited audiences. Many recent low box office movies involved screenplays that have been adapted, borrowed or inspired by renowned Vietnamese literary works. Movies Cau Vang, Kieu… are cases in point.

Phim điện ảnh Việt và những cái chết biết trước

‘Cau Vang’ based on famous works of writer Nam Cao failed in both sales and quality.

 

Adapted films no doubt require challenging production and are always placed in comparison with movies of the same genre and topic, let alone successful works that have previously been read by the audience.

While literature is subjective, a film is made entirely from the director's own point of view. To narrow this gap requires excellent screenwriters who are capable of reconciling their individual creativity and the audience’s advance visualizations, creating a requisite harmony in terms of the visuals of the movies.

 

 

Phim điện ảnh Việt và những cái chết biết trước

The movie "Kieu" in theaters has received mixed opinions.

 

 

Most of the Vietnamese literary works selected for filmmaking are old. It is this distance that leads to deviations in the context, props, costumes, and even character creation.

Without any standard documents, film production is done based on unorthodox ones, personal studies, and trust in people with historical knowledge.

Consequently, the controversy never ceases between the audience that watches movies with their distinctive sentiments and the directors and producers who make their films through their own perspectives.

Film studios with the competence to reproduce a desired space are the key to flawless movies with historical elements and ancient settings which regrettably are still a far-fetched dream in Vietnam as reconstructing a scene based on an existing one is always a high expense of money, time and energy of the crew.

Phim điện ảnh Việt và những cái chết biết trước

A scene from movie ‘Mat Biec’ (Dreamy Eyes).

 

Only until movies Fan Cuong (Fanatic), Co ba Saigon (The Tailor), Song Lang or Toi thay hoa vang tren co xanh (I see yellow flowers on green grass), Mat biec (Dreamy eyes) did filmmakers rebuild a corner of old Saigon and a scene of the market and provincial roads. Whereas if there is a spacious studio with the basic design foundations available, things are far more effortless for the crew who can then focus on acting and storylines instead of every little detail of the scenes.

Acting is the remaining core to an engaging film adapted from a literary work. A film with old time setting will always be demanding for actors regarding expressions and physical movements.

Even how to hold a glass of water, wear a shirt, take one step... involves particular culture, behavior, status ... of the characters in the past, which has not been fully reflected by most Vietnamese films. An attractive narrative with the sharp mindset of directors and editors also plays a significant contribution to the success of a movie... Alas, resolving the challenge is a far cry from acknowledging it.

Video: Trailer of "Cau Vang"

Nguyen Phong Viet

Local movie industry at stake this Tet

Local movie industry at stake this Tet

The Lunar New Year (Tet) has always been an ideal occasion for film distributors, but it will probably be different in 2021. 

Vietnamese films earn big profits after being postponed amid recent COVID-19 outbreak

Vietnamese films earn big profits after being postponed amid recent COVID-19 outbreak

Two Vietnamese films earned several billions dong on one day in cinemas last week, following a postponed release date in February amid a COVID-19 outbreak.

Vietnamese cinema needs new scripts that 'access people's emotions'

Vietnamese cinema needs new scripts that 'access people's emotions'

Only films that reflect people's aspirations and reality of life and move the public can free the film industry from the current impasse and crisis.

 

MORE NEWS

Aviation industry forecast to fully recover in 2025

It is not until 2025 that the local aviation sector can fully recover due to rising fuel prices and the slower-than-expected reopening of international markets, according to domestic airlines.

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JUNE 28

Hanoi airport faces serious congestion during summer peak

Hanoi and Hoi An among Top 25 Overall Experiences in Asia

Motorbike tours around Hanoi and cooking classes in Hoi An have made it into the Top 25 Overall Experiences in Asia, as voted on by readers of TripAdvisor.

Vietnam, Hungary seal judicial cooperation deal for 2022-2023

Vietnamese Minister of Justice Le Thanh Long and his Hungarian counterpart Judit Varga on June 27 signed a cooperation programme between the two ministries for the 2022-2023 period.

India conglomerate pledges to invest 10 billion USD in Vietnam

A joint venture between India’s Adani Group and Vietnam’s Anh Phat Investment Construction & Trading JSC has been approved by authorities of Da Nang to start studying the development of a major seaport in the central city.

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS JUNE 28

Govt approves appointment of contractors for North-South expy project

HCM City hi-tech park to speed up investment procedures

HCM City will focus on helping businesses invest in the Saigon Hi-tech Park in Thu Duc City by addressing slow administrative procedures, a conference on facilitating investment heard on June 27.

Korea, Vietnam to mark 30th anniversary of relations with cultural events

The Korea Content Creation Agency in Vietnam will organise a series of cultural-entertainment events this year to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

HCM City to promote AI in education sector

HCM City will need to promote the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the education sector as part of its effort to become a smart city by 2030, experts said.

Additionally-registered and share-purchased FDI soars sharply in first half of 2022

Despite newly-registered FDI dropping in the first half of the year, additionally-registered and share-purchased investments increased significantly on-year.

Vietnam joins hands with France to renovate Hanoi’s Long Bien bridge

Vietnamese and French experts will join hands to renovate Hanoi City’s deteriorating Long Bien Bridge in the coming months.

Lessons learned from urban railway projects

The urban railway projects that have been and are under construction are all behind schedule, so the total investment must be adjusted.

Prices hit record high, Vietnam earns big money from catfish

Export prices have been escalating in all markets and hitting new records in the US. Vietnam’s catfish export turnover is expected to reach $2.6 billion this year, the highest in history.

Phu Dien Cham Tower in Vietnam sets world record

The central province of Thua Thien – Hue on June 27 held a ceremony to mark WorldKings’ recognition of Phu Dien Tower built by the Cham people as a world record.

Explosive e-commerce growth drives demand for logistics

The rapid growth in e-commerce is driving an unprecedented increase in demand for logistics services, including express delivery services, according to industry insiders.
back_to_top