One of the most recurring themes in literature as well as movies is the clash between dreamers and pragmatists. Moving into one of the world’s biggest & busiest cities in the world, especially in the United States, in the hopes of making your dream come true, is often followed by a rather nasty wake-up gọi upon realizing only a few have the power to lớn make it. Perhaps it is due khổng lồ the success of features such as Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” that this theme has experienced something of a comeback lately, with Vietnamese director Le Minh Hoang’s “Saigon in the Rain” being the latest story making the aforementioned conflict its core.

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Saigon in the Rain is screening at Viet Film Fest


At the beginning of the story, we meet Vu (Avin Lu), a talented musician, who has moved to lớn Saigon in hopes of making a living with his music và as a member of a band. In the months following his arrival in the city, he has managed lớn become a part of a group led by Trang (Truc Anh), who is eager lớn turn the band into a success, accepting all kinds of jobs, from playing at a weekend market khổng lồ wedding celebrations, in order lớn perfect their skills on stage. Ultimately, an audition for a TV format (similar lớn “America’s Got Talent”) should bring the much hoped-for success, while Vu is more eager to lớn practice his songwriting skills on his own and receiving some kind of feedback from his fellow band members.


Afterwards, at a wedding, he meets May (Thu Anh Ho), who runs a small clothing store và tries her best to make ends meet. Coming from a small town, she longs khổng lồ earn money to support her family, especially her mother, whos s gravely ill. Because she is more experienced in the ways of the big city, Vu decides to lớn cling on khổng lồ her, becomes her assistant & gets to lớn know Saigon’s best restaurants and cafes. Little by little, he also becomes attracted to May, who encourages him lớn believe in himself and be more confident in his writing. However, as Vu and his band fail khổng lồ leave an impression with the TV show’s jury, his dream of becoming a successful musician is at risk. Meanwhile, May’s world is about khổng lồ collapse as well.

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While there are certainly musical elements in Le Minh Hoang’s feature, “Saigon in the Rain”, despite making numerous references lớn the genre itself, is more in line with the Hollywood rom-com. Given its theme of dreams & reality, its story about the conflict of romance and one’s dream is the same kind of modern fairy tale audiences have grown to love (and dread) over time, even though its leads, Avin Lau & Thu Anh Ho, bởi vì their best with the material they are given. Aside from their chemistry, both actors maneuver eloquently and elegantly through the various romantic and comedic scenes, with lau portraying the stuttering, but talented loner, whereas Ho essentially plays a woman whose dopes & dreams have clashed with reality once too often.

Another star of “Saigon in the Rain” is the city of Saigon itself. With the unavoidable montage showing various impressions of the city, its busy streets and especially its nightlife, these neon-dipped images fit right into the rom-com format. Everything in “Saigon in the Rain” walks a fine line between the heightened reality of the dream & the sobering light of reality setting in, which still makes for a solid film, but does not have much new khổng lồ offer.

In the end, “Saigon in the Rain” is a lãng mạn comedy about the clash of dream & reality. While its cast give solid performances, Le Minh Hoang’s feature most certainly does not bởi vì anything new with the genre, its themes và tropes.

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