By Chuyen BUI THAC

VIETNAM MEDIA CORP. / BHD CO, LTD - as SALES All rights, World

Drama - Completed 2009

Do you Still long for something? Have you ever been clearly aware of your own breath, truly in control of yourself, free and satisfied? Life always has moments of emptiness and absence. Life with restless obsessions repeats themselves generation after generation, and in all individuals.

    • Year of production
    • 2009
    • Genres
    • Drama
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Duration
    • 105 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Chuyen BUI THAC
    • Writer(s)
    • Di PHAN DANG
    • Producer(s)
    • Binh DANG TAT (Vietnam Feature Film Studio 1)
    • Synopsis
    • Duyen, the main character, got married to Hai – a young man who is still very innocent. Hai is innocent from his appearance to his soul. Duyen thought she is happy, but the shared life of the young couple is soon dotted with flickers of emptiness. They don’t make love like other couples. They are just like two good friends.
      Duyen has a girlfriend—Cam, a writer. Cam is older and quietly in love with Duyen. She is troubled by a vast emptiness brought about by Duyen’s marriage. In order to hide from Duyen her real feeling—a kind of love deemed immoral by the Vietnamese society, Cam pretends to be tortured by her love for a man named Tho. At the same time, another woman named Vi is also desperately in love with Tho.
      On a rainy day, Cam is ill, heart-broken. Duyen comes to see her and Cam asks her to deliver a letter to Tho. The quick meeting with Tho allows Duyen to discover a man charged with sexual desire. Tho pushes Duyen down on the floor and kisses her. The kisses uncover the voids in Duyen.
      Cam knew beforehand what would happen when Duyen meets Tho. She knew Duyen would be seduced by Tho and although she would fight, she would fall for him. Will Cam be able to relieve her jealousy, or will the emptiness inside her expand even more as she becomes witness to what will happen.
      Tho asks Duyen to be the interpreter for a trip to a beach he is ornganizing for a group of Japanese tourists. Duyen is at first indecisive, but can’t resist the attractive invitation. They go to the beach. Duyen makes love to Tho there. She is confused, but for the first time she is conscious of her own body. On that trip, Vi – a woman desperately in love with Tho – witnesses the intimacy between Tho and Duyen. Vi gets get drunk and dies on the beach. It seems like an accident, but it was the emptiness in her soul and the desperate love that kill her.
      Duyen and Hai’s neighbor is Mien’s family. Mien is an innocent girl who loves bathrooms. Mien lives with a father who is addicted to cock fights. Mien and Hai meet and understand each other, both innocent like children who are unaware of the emptiness. When Duyen goes to the beach, Mien teases Hai about a ghost in his room. At night, Hai is scared, and like a child, he asks Mien to stay with him. The next morning, Mien can’t resist her desire to try Hai’s bathroom. Duyen comes back and catches Mien taking a bath. She leaves and goes to Cam’s.
      However, at the end, Duyen realizes it her own changes and returns to Hai. But things have changed. They are now not just good friends anymore. They get stuck in a traffic jam just as they did at the beginning of the film. Duyen and Hai exchange a smile, hand in hand.
      The film suggests a feeling of emptiness and solitude. The characters coexist, grow up, meet, and leave each other in that emptiness. Even the minor characters are also surrounded by obsessions seeming to be inherited from previous generations. Duyen’s grandfather’s mysterious affairs next to her grandmother’s acceptance; Mien’s father’s devotion to cock fights; Hai’s mother’s extreme love for her son, turning him into a possession. Surrounding them are also characters ling with various degrees of emptiness. The claustrophobic atmosphere, the desolate city scenes and old houses also help to create that impression of emptiness.