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Third Wife (The)

Country: Vietnam, Language: Vietnamese, 96 mins

Original Title

Phuong Anh Nguyen
  • Director: Ash Mayfair
  • Writer: Ash Mayfair
  • Producer: Ash Mayfair; Thi Bich Ngoc Tran

CGiii Comment

If ever a film had the potential to be something special...this was it.

Great premise, a young bride brought into a polygamous marriage, set in the breath-taking scenery of a distant Vietnam...the romance of it all...but, alas, there was absolutley no romance...and, despite the on-screen beauty, the constant battle with sleep was near-overwhelming and uncomfortably tortuous throughout. Why, oh why, did this happen!?! All the ingredients for a great film were there...except for a fully fleshed-out script!

It would seem that Ash Mayfair's cinematic punctuation is...when in doubt, film [interminably] a leaf, or a silk worm, or water...or, anything that fills the gap. Stick with the story!!! Yes, indeed, the sensitive souls will argue in favour of the mood, atmosphere and tone creation...but, when the effect is as soporific as this, a gross misjudgment has been made. Wake up!!! Why? For the lesbian comes out of nowhere, ends in a flash and is forgotten! Yes...all this film needed was a fully fleshed-out script and a brutal editor who has a particular distaste for leaves, silk worms and water. And could have been a marvel.


The(ir) Blurb...

In late-19th century Vietnam, 14-year-old May is chosen to become the third wife to a wealthy landowner, and she soon becomes pregnant with a child she believes will be a male heir. But after she witnesses a forbidden romance, May finds herself struggling to come to terms with her hidden desires in this stunning and sensuous portrait of young womanhood.

Cast & Characters

Long Le Vu as Hung
Mai Thu Huong Maya as Xuan
Nguyen Phuong Tra My as May
Nhu Quynh Nguyen    
Nguyen Thanh Tam
Lam Thanh My as Lien
Nu Yên-Khê Tran