The first và least useful observation I have lớn make about Tam Cam: The Untold Story is that it suggests that Vietnam has much better fairy tales than the rest of the world. Here"s what I mean: the film, directed by Veronica Ngô Thanh Vân from a script whipped together by a small army of writers, is based on "Tấm Cám", a traditional Vietnamese folk tale that is either based directly on the European story variously known as "Cinderella", "Cenerentola", or "Cendrillon", or (as is more likely) was significantly influenced by the French version of the story during that country"s colonial occupation of Vietnam, because the details are absolutely too damn close for parallel evolution, or even a shared ancestor. The film"s first hour is exactly "Cinderella", in details too specific to lớn be coincidental.Which is fine and all, but whereas the European story end with Cinderella wedding her prince và graciously forgiving her awful stepmother & stepsisters, Tam Cam is just getting revved up. In this story, the stepmother (played by by Ngô herself) is so furious at her stepdaughter, Tam"s (Hạ Vi) victory that she up and murders the girl by tricking her into climbing a tree & then cutting it down; Tam"s maniacally cruel stepsister Cam (Ninh Dương Lan Ngọc) then manages khổng lồ finagle her way into the prince"s (boy band star Isaac) affections, but Tam comes back as a bird, and meanwhile, the prince has to lớn wage war against the evil scorpion warlock attempting to lớn take over his kingdom. It"s packed to lớn the gills with all kinds of stuff, and while the family-friendly movie does remove some of the story"s most ghoulish extremes (the story has the Titus Andronicus dinner scene, & we"re meant to take this as part of Tam"s exciting triumph over her nasty tormentors), it still has way, way more going on than any telling of "Cinderella" in prose or on screen that I"ve ever encountered.Frankly, I kind of adored it. It"s got a lot of problems, not least of them being that the male thắm thiết lead is a front man for the boy band that Ngô produces when she"s not being a film director, actor, and model (note that you will be able to lớn see her in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, presumably in an annoying small role that has obviously been cut down). In fact, all of the acting is at least slightly awful, though most of the time, it"s all part of the fun of the thing - this is especially true of Lan Ngọc"s venal, dizzy Cam, và Thành Lộc"s hugely campy performance as a Bụt, an old man spirit which the subtitles rather freely translate as "fairy godfather".For the most appealing thing, by far, about Tam Cam is that it"s so resolutely unserious about being a fluffy, silly fairy story. At times this goes far enough to lớn be rather annoying, particularly in the substantial amount of humor that draws from wholly anachronistic attitudes, in a manner that drifts too far towards insincerity. This is particularly distressing given how enormously sincere the movie is, in general, about playing fair by the random narrative súc tích and psychological essentialism of fairy tales. None of these events, nor these people, are in the least bit plausible. They"re all brightly-costumed cartoon smudges of pure good or (more often) pure evil. & because of this, the films tone is buoyant & delightful, and Ngô"s disinterest in grounding this at any level deeper than the feverish "this happened và this happened" lô ghích of the bedtime story ends up paying substantial dividends once the film breaks away from the "Cinderella" mã sản phẩm and turns into a go-for-broke kích hoạt epic, mixing wuxia và wire-fu with romantic intrigue & the endlessly petty villainy of Cam & her mother.It"s a lark, nothing more, and even as two hours is a bit long for what amounts lớn a tossed-off children"s fantasy, Tam Cam covers so much ground & moves so quickly that it"s quite hard to lớn explain how those two hours could possibly have been sufficient khổng lồ move us from the smallness of the beginning all the way to lớn the cavernous boss fight at the end. That upbeat, laughing sensibility almost ends up being sufficient to cover up for the film"s most obvious flaw, which is that it"s a bit cheap and threadbare. There is not very much CGI used in the film, but all of it looks slightly crappy. Moreover, the film"s fight sequences are impressive mostly as a factor of how few people are involved: the wire-fu fight about three-quarters through is damned good, but the big battle sequences involving dozens of simultaneous sword fights mostly serve lớn show that the filmmakers didn"t have much of an eye for fight choreography (though the sound kiến thiết is almost preposterously good).Still, the mildly cheesy chất lượng that comes along with the budget ends up fitting Ngô"s overall mood of unfussy, silly fun. Tam Cam might have the content of an epic, but it has the energy of a bunch of kids running around in the back yard. Running around in beautiful, boldly-colored costumes, but still, it feels more lượt thích a big game of dress-up than an actual movie. & I think that is exactly the way it should be: too little of modern fantasy is willing to engage on the cấp độ of traditional folklore, with its enthusiastic strangeness và mythic insubstantiality, và I find Tam Cam unabashedly endearing on those grounds, even if it never argues (or attempts lớn argue) that it"s anything but trivial, high-spirited entertainment.

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All genres of suspense, terror, and horror will be reviewed by Richard Gary. His address lớn send preview copies supplied upon request to rbf55


Well,I must say, this is my first Vietnamese film viewing that has nothing to dowith the kích hoạt there during the 1960s and early ‘70s. This is more the sweepingepic kind of period story one would expect from either Japan, or especially
China; Crouching Tiger, Hidden rồng (2000)comes to lớn mind.
Asiahas a history of taking Western stories và Easternizingthem, such as Macbeth (Throne of Blood, 1957) & King Lear (Ran, 1985). Then again, the West has taken the Eastern stories aswell, and either transplanted them (The
Magnificent Seven, 1960; A Fistful of
Dollars, 1964;, more recently The
Ring, 2002), or merely placed themselves in the story in Asia (Shogun, 1980 and The Great Wall, 2016, for example).
Forthis release, it is in part a reimagining of the Cinderella story, set in themagical past of Mainland Southeast Asia. We see sweeping vistas và mountain castles asthe camera swoops & flies in both the real and digital realm, & it’s allbeautiful and lush (and easy to lớn distinguish between the two, but that’salright).

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Ha Vi & Isaac

Evenbefore the credits, the handsome prince with Spock-like eyebrows, hoàng thái tử (translatedas “Prince”; Isaac), is all bedecked in gold armor while racing khổng lồ see hisdying father. He và his posse almostruns over trung khu (“Center”; Ha Vi), & it is love at first sight. But, as thestory goes, he takes off without finding out who she is, which he will laterregret.
Whilepretty accurate khổng lồ the Grimm’s Fairy Tale, there is also a lot of minor tweakingalong the way. For example, along with the evil step-mother dì ghẻ (“Step
Mother”; director Veronica Ngo), there is only one nasty step-sibling, Cảm (“Cold”;Ninh Duong Lan Ngoc), who is a horribly spoiled brat. Also, rather than a fairygodmother, there is a fairy godfather, But (“Shoes”; scene stealer Loc Thanh),who is obviously based on the Robin Williams’ Genie character from the animated
Aladdin (1992). He has a nasty senseof humor và also mentions things that have no place in the story or time, suchas the Energizer Bunny. Dressed lượt thích the white Wizard phase of Gandalf (sans hoodie), with eyebrows that go downto his chin, he is quite hysterical.
Cinderella part is actually quite abbreviated, even if it gets the most credit,with the entire story taking only the first 30 minutes. For example, the whole“fit the foot lớn the shoe” bit takes place at the initial ball when tâm firstwalks in dressed in her fine outfit.
Peoplemay not remember this, but fairy tales were often quite dark, such as in theoriginal Cinderella story, one of the step-sisters cuts off part of her foot totry & make the shoe fit. Here, while nothing this gruesome visually occurs,there ae some sad và surprising moments with death, the threat of murder, andwar never far away. You may certainly begin lớn wonder about the “Happily Ever
After” part.
Huu Chau

Thereare many layers of fantasy here, including ghost stories, reincarnation, & abit of another Fairy Tale, “Beauty and the Beast.” I’m not necessarily up on my
Tales since I haven’t read them (or had them read lớn me) since I was a small kinder, but there is much in the way of intrigue,betrayal và resurrection. And like many Tales, this is a bit over the top;honestly, though, this is the kind of production that is built for it. When Iwas in Xi’an, China, a few years ago, I saw an opera/ballet called A tuy nhiên of Everlasting Sorrow, about thefirst Emperor of china and his Concubine; there are some similarities here, aswell. This also is a story of love that goes beyond death, treachery andfriendship.
Asfor the betrayals, some come as a surprise (as they should be in the true definitionof the word), but the obvious one is the main villain, a Fu Manchu-ish, Saruman-like
Magistrate, vượt Tướng (“Prime Minister”; Huu Chau). He is more cartoonish in a
Ming the Merciless way, though the main difference is that he is actually is played by an Asian actor (unlikeanyone in the West who has played Mr. Merciless).

Labels:Asian Cinema,Cinderella,Cleopatra Entertainment,Fairy Tale,Indie Horror Films,MVD Visual,Ngo Thanh Van,Richard Gary,Tam Cam The Untold Story;Tam Cam Chuyen Chura Ke,Veronica Ngo,Vietnam Cinema
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