Vietnamese film draws record crowds
May 6, 2007
Johnny Nguyen and Ngo Thanh Van star
The movie Dong Mau Anh Hung (The Rebel) drew a record crowd for a Vietnamese-made film as the summer movie season kicked off during the four-day national holiday last week.
More than 8,000 people jammed the two Galaxy Cinemas, the largest in the city, to watch the film The Rebel, directed by Vietnamese-American Johnny Nguyen.
Nguyen Minh Ngoc, director of Galaxy, said The Rebel was the first Vietnamese drama that had drawn huge crowds.
She said tickets sold out the first day when Galaxy decided to screen The Rebel late last month. “We’ve never seen that before for a Vietnamese film,” she added.
Galaxy Cinema on Nguyen Du Street alone attracted about 6,000 people, many of them young viewers interested in seeing pop music idol Ngo Thanh Van in her role as the female intelligence soldier Thuy.
The Rebel helped Thang Long Cinema on Cao Thang Street attract over 4,000 people from April 28 to May 1.
The Rebel’s box-office competitors were the Hollywood films, Dead or Live and The Marine, which drew 3,000 ticket-holders each over the holiday.
Set in the early 20th century, The Rebel features Cuong, a young man who returns to Vietnam following his studies in France and is hired by the French colonial army to carry out a secret mission.
During the process, he meets the beautiful girl Thuy, a secret agent for the Vietnamese resistance army. Although they have different backgrounds, Cuong and Thuy fall in love.
The US$1.5 million film made its world debut last month at the Vietnamese International Film Festival (VIFF) in Los Angeles, California, leaving a strong impression on young Vietnamese-Americans who know little about Vietnam’s history and culture.
Produced by the Ho Chi Minh City-based private company Chanh Phuong Film Studio, The Rebel features dozens of local and overseas Vietnamese actors, including Nguyen Chanh Tin and Johnny Tri Nguyen.
“I think The Rebel’s producer and distributor made the right decision to release the film on the 32nd anniversary of Reunification Day because the film is about war and love,” said Nguyen Van Thang, a regular moviegoer at Thang Long cinema.
The Rebel earned more than VND1 billion ($62,000) in ticket sales for its first three days of release in cinemas around the country.
The film will be released in other cinemas in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in coming weeks. Tickets range from VND30,000 to VND50,000, depending on the venue. (VNS)