Watching "The Scent of Green Papaya?is just like listening to a harmonious song. There is not much dialogue in this movie but you will not feel boring. I enjoy the tranquil, elegant, graceful mood of the movie. It uses many simple melodies and close-up shots in the film to reflect the frame of mind of the characters. The visual and hearing beauty brings you comfort when watching it.
The first part of the film takes place in 1951, it is when the French authority almost came to an end. French has occupied Vietnam for more than 30 years prior to 1954. During the French administration, people in Vietnam had been influenced by the French. In the first half of the movie, Mui was living in a traditional family as a child servant. The grandmother lost her husband when she was still a teenager and she insisted on praying for her husband every morning and stay faithful to him. The father left home with another woman and took along all the money a few times but the mother would never blame him. Instead, the grandmother blamed her for not knowing how to please her own husband.
In the second half of the film, Mui moved to a musician's house also as a servant. The musician, who is also her master, named Khuyen, has been influenced by the French and knows how to play piano. His house was decorated all in French style, colorful and bright. Unlike the previous family, simple, antique, and all in wood. Khuyen was engaged but later then he found out that Mui was actually very attractive after she dressed up. He fell for her and afterwards he broke up with his fianc?and married Mui.
This film shows the difference between a traditional Vietnamese family and a modern westernize family. Not only the living environment have big difference but also the perception of relationships.