The Scent of Green Papaya [Import]
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A love story of significant beauty and originality.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's a wonderful movie, but not necessarily family oriented. Perhaps for those interested in forgein films with a bit of comedy and romance attached. Still, it is definitely a must see!
She comes to the household like a breath of fresh air. The household consists of a mother, a father, three sons, and the grandmother, the father's mother. The mother (Thi Loc Truong) seems to be a somewhat unhappy woman. Having lost her only daughter, a child that would have been Mui's age had she lived, the sight of Mui makes her happy. She otherwise has little about which to be happy. The father (Ngoc Trung Tran), a seemingly uncommunicative man, spends his time playing melancholic music. He occasionally leaves the household for months at a time, taking with him the family's money and small valuables in order to carouse and have a good time, leaving the mother to fend for the family as best that she can. The grandmother is given to berating her, blaming her for the father's absences.
There are three sons in the household, two young ones who play pranks and torment others, as well as a much older son, whose best friend, Khuyen (Hoa Hoi Vuong), occasionally comes to dinner. It is there that he first catches Mui's eye, and she is smitten, developing a little crush on him.Read more ›
The "stepmother" could be her employer, however Mui is never treated unkindly by her because she reminds her Mistress (Thi Loc Troung) of the daughter who died many years before and would have been the same age. When the family can no longer afford to employ her, she goes to live with a wealthy young pianist.
This movie excels in artistic expression and the silent interpretation of dreams and wishes. There is a minimum of dialogue and the most casual observances become almost a cherished encounter with nature. Mui watches little frogs, crickets and ants with a sense of awe while her employer's sons would be happy to kill any insect they found.
If you love cooking, you will probably love this movie. You can even get a quick lesson in how to stir-fry. Cooking is done on the floor over coals and Mui takes on the role of chef and housecleaner. There is an emphasis on the rituals of life. The simple is made beautiful. Every natural sound seems amplified. This is not only visually appealing; the sounds of rice being poured into a huge urn or the sizzle of oil in a wok are all spectacularly recorded.
Mui is told she will get to see her mother but we never see this occur. In fact, everything in the story takes place in the house or in the surrounding village.Read more ›
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.
Most recent customer reviews
I watched this movie years ago on VHS. I like this director's work, although some of it is a bit beyond me. Must be a cultural thing. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Susan M. Libanio
Do any of the actors know how to speak? you have to follow the story by reading the facial expressions of the actors ... should have maybe put Roger Moore in it somewhere ... Read morePublished on Jan. 7 2013 by andrew langford
I will not lie and say this movie filled with car chases or explosions. If you expect an action flick, look elsewhere. Read morePublished on March 1 2004
This is the slowest movie ever made, and also one of the least meaningful movies I have ever seen. There is nothing redeeming about any of the characters, as they are not fleshed... Read morePublished on Dec 10 2003
I'm an asian female and the strange eroticizing of this woman is freakish to me. Her gaping hollow stare is maybe endearing as a child, but as a woman it just made her look... Read morePublished on Nov. 29 2003
Normally, I don't mind movies that use visuals instead of dialogue to tell the story as long as the visuals give a good insight into the character. Read morePublished on Oct. 20 2003 by sherbertrose
This movie is great for those who enjoy excellent character development. Not many people my age appreciate such films and I must admit that some of its like do not keep my... Read morePublished on May 1 2003 by Amanda Williams
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