As “Heroic Destiny”, Victor Vu watched the film more than 1,000 times while editing, betting his career on the historical work with a budget of 25 billion VND.
With Victor Vu, the job Blue eyes (2019) won the Golden Lotus award on 11/20 beyond expectations, because he predicted Godfather (Tran Thanh) or Blood moon party (Nguyen Quang Dung) won. However, many people in the film world think that Victor Vu’s throne at this year’s Vietnam Film Festival is not surprising.
Director Ly Minh Thang – a member of the festival’s jury – loved it Blue eyes because the film is rich in poetry, but there is no shortage of technical camera angles, bold professional marks. “Not every movie that hits theaters is considered a cinema, and Victor Vu’s projects are all true cinematic works. To me, he is one of the pioneering directors of Vietnamese screens for decades or more. Come here,” Ly Minh Thang said.
Before the Golden Lotus 2021, Victor Vu’s career is guaranteed with a series of achievements at film festivals. In 2010, Hero’s Destiny – historical film of his investment of 25 billion dong – continuously conquering domestic awards. In Golden Kite 2012, the film dominated eight categories, including important awards such as Film, Director, Main Actor, Sound, Best Cinematography… In the same year, Scandal: Secret of the red carpet – His showbiz-themed thriller – received a certificate of merit from the Motion Picture Association.
A year later, the overseas Vietnamese director won at the 18th Vietnam Film Festival when Scandal and Hero’s Destiny won the Golden Lotus and Silver Lotus, respectively, and Victor Vu also took home the Best Director award. In 2015, I see yellow flowers on green grass – adapted from Nguyen Nhat Anh’s long story of the same name – helped him make his mark with Silver Lotus. The film’s achievements also go far when it won the “Best Picture” award at the 2015 Silk Road International Film Festival (China) and the 2016 Toronto International Children’s Film Festival (Canada).
Victor Vu likes to “test the fire” himself by into many genres. In the 2011 Tet season, comedy – love work The Bride of War became one of the most popular projects of the year, with revenue of VND 37.6 billion, a significant figure at that time. Taking the plot revolving around the love story between Thai (Huy Khanh) – a “Don Juan guy” and four long legs, the work caused a fever because of its funny script and bold dialogue.
When many people thought that Victor Vu would win over the rom-com genre, he suddenly experimented with the historical genre with the project. Hero’s Destiny (2012). When the film was released, experts and audiences were surprised by the Vietnamese-imprinted frames, from familiar landmarks and mountains in Ninh Binh, Co Loa (Hanoi) to Cu Chi (HCMC). Martial arts with close combat phases – choreographed by Johnny Tri Nguyen – is also the highlight of the film. The director said that when editing the film, he watched it more than 1,000 times to make sure there were no mistakes. The film debuted unsuccessfully in revenue, with a loss of more than 10 billion dong, as revealed by the production unit. However, the work was highly appreciated by experts, becoming a project with a personal impression of Victor Vu.
After Heroic Destiny, Victor Vu made horror movies Scandal: Secret of the red carpet (two thousand and thirteen). He mentioned the hidden corner behind the glossy, flashy look of showbiz – where some people use tricks and tricks to destroy each other. The director was inspired by the behind-the-scenes story with the details of playing charms to harm each other, beautiful people selling sex for thousands of dollars, accusing each other in the newspaper…
A year later, in the same genre of thriller – suspense, Victor Vu achieved more success with Bloody heart (Thai Hoa, Nha Phuong starred). The work – adapted from the play written by Thai Hoa – achieved a turnover of 24 billion dong after only three days of release, the first Vietnamese film to reach the one million dollar mark. Earning a total of more than 70 billion VND, the film helps Thai Hoa strengthen the title of “box office king”.
The male director said I see yellow flowers on green grass and Blue eyes are the biggest challenges of Victor Vu. Succeeding with entertainment-oriented works, he abandoned his knack to choose projects of literary adaptation – a film genre that is inherently picky about audiences. At launch, I see yellow flowers on green grass demonstrates the director’s ability to grasp the original script. He concretized the vivid descriptions in Nguyen Nhat Anh’s stories into smooth images, such as students carrying books to school with fluttering red scarves, children flying kites in the river, catching snails in flood season…
Blue eyes is Victor Vu’s bolder game when recreating the 1970s atmosphere with the love triangle of Ngan – Holland – Dung. The director once said that he had almost forgotten about the previous filmmaking style, limiting the trick of pushing emotions towards simplicity. The revenue of 180 billion VND (top 5 popular Vietnamese films of all time) – the highest among Victor Vu’s works – was a big surprise to the director himself because he did not believe the film would be a hit.
Accepting risks, many times Victor Vu suffered failures. In 2017, Thunder leopard – Victor Vu’s superhero-themed project – lacks revenue and content quality. The story of Tam (Cuong Seven) – a painter who suddenly has extraordinary abilities after a head transplant surgery – impresses with its action sequences, beautiful shots but loose script. The emotional progression in the film was also rushed, making it difficult for the audience to empathize.
Immortals human (2018) continues to be considered a disappointing test of Victor Vu despite the large investment, taking six years to “conceive” the script. Inspired by a person who lived through three centuries by practicing charms, the work blends spiritual elements with stories of yin – yang, life – death. However, the complex idea leaves the script with many holes, leading to a confusing ending. The director admitted that the film became a great lesson for him because he was too greedy for details, thereby making it difficult for himself when censored. Latest movies – Guardian angel, released at the end of March – scored in the visual stage, the cast is young, but the idea and plot are not new. The work earned 40 billion VND, enough to break even.
Over 20 years in the profession, Victor Vu has experienced both glory and failure many times. The director said he was not affected by the success or failure of a project, because the concept of making films is for fun rather than counting revenue. He said: “If we win, the whole family is happy. If we lose, we sit back and learn from the experience for the next project. To me, making a movie is always risky, the important thing is that you dare to bet to bring a great success. novel food for the audience”.