Cô ba sài gòn review

Compare to the haunting real-life of Co Ba Tra, the movie Co Ba Saigon (The Tailor) from afar seems like someone is wearing an Ao Dai dress and has on a conical hat, but when looking closer, there is no one there. It is an empty shell. Despite all of its weaknesses, the film signals a very promising trover for Vietnamese cinema.
Author Vietnamese Cinema BlogPublished on October 29, 2018October 29, 2018Leave a bình luận on Who is Cô Ba Trà? Cô Ba TP Sài Gòn (The Tailor) Film Review

If there is a single image that symbolizes Vietnam giới, it would be a woman wearing an Áo Dài (a Vietnamese traditional dress) with a Nón Lá (an Asian conical hat). In recent memory, there were three major campaigns promoting Áo Dài. The first was the launch of an Ao Dai collection by Thuy Design House for Vietnam"s 2017 International Fashion Week. The second was at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival"s closing ceremony where celebrities had on the outfits. Lastly, the release of Ngô Thanh hao Vân (Veronica Ngo)"s film Cô Ba TPhường.Sài Gòn (The Tailor) aiming khổng lồ educate young viewers on the origin of the iconic dress.

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At least that was how the filmmakers market Co Ba Sai Gon (The Tailor) before its premiere. By having a vintage poster with faded colors & actresses in retro makeup and hairstyles, they promised khổng lồ take the audience bachồng in time to lớn the fashion scene during the 1960s. Disappointingly, the film spent barely the first quarter of its running time set in the sixties. The scenes in this sequence neither tell us about the origin of the dress or give sầu us a sense of place from this time period. They are mostly interior with a few people arguing or acting out in tantrums. The reason the main character disobeys her mother"s traditional teaching is shallow since we barely get lớn see the landscape beyond the walls of the colonial house she lives in. How does she get influenced by Western culture at that time? Additionally, Veronica Ngo is miscast here as she looks too young to lớn be a matriarch. Despite the savvy Steadicam shots, a few moments of dedicated acting, và moody lighting, the laông chồng of establishing Vietnam"s larger-than-life fashion culture & social scene during the 1960s failed to lớn engage the viewers.

There is a plot twist early in the film that came out of nowhere causing the movie to split in two, as if the latter part is a different movie altogether. The screenwriters seem to be struggling on how to lớn tell a coherent story. Should it be a historical period drama or a hysterical modern dramady? A period drama would cost much more lớn make & would have little chance to win at the box office. Whereas, a comedy is guaranteed lớn make money since it will be more appealing to lớn a young audience. The filmmakers want to lớn tell two stories in one movie by connecting them with a cheap plot device - the ex machina. This causes the entire film lớn be taken less seriously & confuses the viewers. An excellent example where a movie maintains its emotional impact by telling two very personal interconnected stories across time is The Godfather Part 2.

Co Ba Sai Gon (The Tailor) had its USA screenings at the Regency Theater in Westminster, California in order to qualify for the Osoto. During the Q&A session, producer/star Veronica Ngo made a passionate plea khổng lồ attendees lớn tư vấn Vietnamese films. She referenced the current state of Vietnamese entertainment where truyền thông media from Korea, Japanese, and Chinese have sầu brainwashed Vietnamese youngsters making them oblivious khổng lồ traditional Vietnamese values and customs. Ngo & her production company, Vietnamese Artists Agency (VAA), intend to promote Vietnamese culture by making them more attractive sầu to these youngins. Their last film Tam Cam: The Untold Story is a fantasy that prioritizes slichồng production value over storytelling. That film was quite entertaining. On a superficial cấp độ, they have sầu succeeded. Co Ba Sai gon (The Tailor)"s production kiến thiết, specifically its wardrobes, is stunning. We get khổng lồ see many Ao Dai dresses on display. Although they don"t look one bit traditional, the fabric"s colors & patterns are a feast lớn the eye. Plus, they are donned by beautiful actresses in their elegant gaits. The film is shot on 35milimet which is rare for a modern feature made in Vietphái nam. The cinematography, in the beginning, uses vintage color palettes with film noise lớn incite nostalgia. Lastly, the music is superb! It"s a mixture of catchy modern pop tunes with slightly more meaningful lyrics than the usual. All of these are cosmetic achievements though.

Perhaps, The Tailor"s substantial success is its predominantly female cast that includes young talents & acting veterans. They together deliver a message of "Uống Nước Nhớ Nguồn, A.K.A. Rethành viên Where You Drink From" in a manner that is easy to be digested for the impatient teenagers. Regardless, this leads khổng lồ the most fascinating aspect of the film - its title.

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Veronica Ngo had said that the title refers to lớn the famous Co Ba Tra, who was a great Vietnamese beauty in the early 20th century. There are no official historical records of Co Ba Tra"s life. However, according lớn a Vietnamese Wikipedia page and an article from SoHa.vn, Co Ba Tra"s real name is Trinc Ngoc Tra. She was born in 1909 into lớn a well-off family from Long An. Her mother was beautiful. After rumors her mother was cheating, her father suffered a heart attack và passed away. The family"s sleazy relatives claimed Tra was the offspring from her mother"s affairs, therefore, stripped her of all inheritance. Tra moved in with her mother who often mistreated her & blamed her for their misfortunes. They both resided in Saigon where her mother operated a makeshift opium den. Tra"s first marriage was to lớn a French doctor. He treated her kindly & put her in school to learn how to read and write. Soon after, he abruptly left her to go baông xã to France. This sudden departure caused Tra to lớn mistrust all men. She returned to lớn her mother and made ends meet by selling egg rolls & fruits at the local train station. At the age of 16, Her beauty flourished. With a round face, naturally blushing cheeks, strong dark brows over long lashes, & fleshy plump lips, Tra"s innocence gaze captured the attention of many local vendors who would nickname her "The Egg Roll Princess."

Eventually, she fell in love with a rich playboy named Toan, who already had three wives. Of course with her mother"s hasty approval, she was married to lớn Toan. It was a rocky marriage due khổng lồ his extramarital affairs. Toan"s family often insulted Tra because of her lowly social background. They eventually separated and she went baông chồng khổng lồ live sầu with her mother. At this point, Tra became very bitter as she still had feelings for her ex-husb&.

As one can notice, the story of Trinh Ngoc Tra to this point is a mirror of the narrative sầu in The Tale of Kieu, which is a diamond-in-the-rough kind of story. This female character archetype is all too familiar with Vietnamese. However, the similarity ends from here.

As Tra was determined lớn asckết thúc the social ladder, she succumbed into lớn a life full of debauchery. To gain power, she used her physical attraction to lớn seduce influential men. Bankers, businessmen, politicians, và landowners would become her lovers. They would obey her commands và provide for her at every whyên. She garnered a massive sầu following & established herself as a huge celebrity. People would travel from far away khổng lồ wait outside of her building just to get a glimpse of her through the window. People in the region would refer to her as "The Great Socialite of Sai Gon" or "The Great Beauty of Cho Lon". She began branding her physical appearance by having her face printed in many commonly used products at the time, including bars of soap sold by the Trương Văn uống Bền"s hygiene company. Sales from that company skyrocketed & they even took a big profit from big French manufacturers such as Marseille Soap Maker. Trinch Ngoc Tra"s face on commodities gave sầu many colonized Vietnamese a sense of national pride. At the height of her power, she even appeared in provincial stamps. Arguably, she was the first Asian social media celebrity bachồng then in Indochimãng cầu. She would make Paris Hilton or Kylie Jenner look like school girls.

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Image Source: trithucvn

At this point, Tra had four main suitors, a rich playboy named Công Tử Bạc Liêu, a gambler named Sáu Ngọ, a politician, and a vice president of some French-operated banks from Can Tho. Her lust for social status, fame, and power became uncontrollable. She would become a slave to lớn material excess. Obsessed with diamonds, fleshly deprivation, & worst - opium. Her psychological state deteriorated và she became paranoid of all around her. Rumors had it that she even paid visits to witch doctors in Siam (modern day Thailand) khổng lồ use dark magic to lớn make men obsessed with her and put curses on her enemies. Soon, Tra"s degrading lifestyle in the thành phố became a nightmare. She got embroidered in many controversies, gossips, scandals, had an army of enemies of mostly jealous wives, accumulated huge debts, and had an opium addiction. She decided khổng lồ escape to lớn the countryside of Nha Trang where she could start anew. She met a man named Lam. He was poor và the only man who did not actively pursued her. Desperate to lớn have a family và a husbvà who is different than the other men she"s had before, she began courting hyên. Finally, they got married & she thought that her past was behind her. For a while she"d lived a normal happy life even though they struggled to lớn no avail of having children. Tra was devastated by this blow. Eventually, the past caught up lớn her. Her former lovers tracked her down. They plotted against her and ruined her family. Lam left her & she was alone & penniless. There was no official record of Trinc Ngoc Tra"s twilight years. According lớn hearsay, people spotted her working at a cigarette st& in a local market in 1966. She died in poverty & loneliness at the bottom of the stairs in a dilapidated apartment building. The only possession with her was a worn out leather chair left by her father.

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So that is the tragic story of Co Ba Tra, the real-life Co Ba Sai Gon. It is one heông xã of a tale khổng lồ be translated khổng lồ a film that could stand among great epics like The Last Emperor or Wong Kar Wai"s The Hand. Although it might be difficult to pass Vietnamese censorship due to lớn the dark nature of the material. Compared to the haunting real-life of Co Ba Tra, the movie Co Ba Saigon (The Tailor) from afar seems like someone is wearing an Ao Dai dress và has on a conical hat, but when looking closer, there is no one there. It is an empty shell. Despite all of its weaknesses, the film signals a very promising trkết thúc for Vietnamese cinema. Vietnamese artists realize that in order for Vietphái mạnh lớn be free, it needs lớn have its cultural sovereignty. One way to achieve sầu that is by using the power of films to tell stories unique khổng lồ Vietnam. Now only if filmmakers can trust their audience, particularly the young ones. They are a lot more conscientious than you think.


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