VFF 2018 Review: Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass

Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) has recently launched its inaugural Vietnamese Film Festival (VFF) in GSC Pavilion, where I got the opportunity to watch the special preview of the acclaimed Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass.

Based on the bestselling I See Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass novel by Nguyen Nhat Anh, the movie tells a story set in 1989 about two young brothers Thieu (Thinh Vinh) and Tuong (Trong Khang) who lives in a rural countryside village of Central Vietnam. Both of them are particularly drawn to the local myth about a mysterious princess and the man-eating white tiger that served as her protector. Tuong particularly believes in her existence and even happens to befriend the princess as well. Meanwhile, Thieu has a crush on Moon (Thanh My), a fellow classmate who lives nearby the village.

When Moon’s home is destroyed in a fire and her father has gone missing, she moves in to stay with Thieu’s parents for the time being. This is where Tuong starts to get close to Moon, which leads to Thieu’s eventual jealousy. Things turn ugly when a violent incident left Thieu entirely ridden with guilt as he looks for ways to redeem his wrongdoing.

Originally released in Vietnam back in 2015, it’s easy to see why Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass received critical acclaims and accolades from various film festivals around the world. Co-writer and director Victor Wu successfully captured the beautifully rustic vibes of the Central Vietnam countryside with the help of K’Linh Nguyen’s breathtaking travelogue-like cinematography.

The acting is equally top-notch, particularly the three young actors played by Thinh Vinh, Trong Khang and Thanh My. They are the anchors that hold the movie together to the point their so-called “love triangle” storyline makes the story all the more interesting. Now, if only the movie chose to stick to this angle and develop it further.

Unfortunately, here lies the problem. Once Moon is out of the picture, the story shifted focus back to the myth of the princess and the white tiger that teases earlier in the movie. It makes me feel as if the movie tries to cram another story just to fulfil the 103-minute running time, which in turn, becomes surprisingly laborious and even overstays its welcome.

Still, the aforementioned shortcoming doesn’t devalue the overall quality of this movie as Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass remains a good Vietnamese movie worth watching for.

Catch Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass and the rest of the four Vietnamese movies including My Girlfriend is the Boss, 798Ten, Hello Vietnam! and 100 Days of Sunshine beginning from 23rd to 29th August 2018 at selected GSC cinemas (Mid Valley Megamall, Pavilion KL, 1 Utama, Gurney Plaza Penang and Paradigm JB). Best of all, tickets are priced at only RM10 each and will be available from 17 August onwards. For more regarding the GSC Vietnamese Film Festival, click here.

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