Boldly choosing a topic that is difficult for people to work on in Vietnam, director Timothy Linh Bui’s work has eye-catching visuals. But the film’s script reveals many limitations.
Director: Timothy Linh Bui
Actors: Chi Pu, Thuan Nguyen, Tran Ngoc Vang, Trinh Thao
Genre: Action, suspense, psychological
Premiere: December 8, 2023
Duration: 115 minutes
Language: Vietnamese – English subtitles
Classification: T18 – The film is popular with viewers aged 18 and over (18+).
The movie “Sun People” is considered a daring direction by director Timothy Linh Bui. Initially, he intended to convey messages about brotherhood and the fate of outsiders in society. But instead of telling a normal story, he placed the film in the world of vampires. The work is labeled 18+ and will be released in theaters on December 8.
Images and techniques are meticulous
The film is about a group of hundreds of years old vampires left over after a major extermination in the past. They live in seclusion in a remote area, not drinking human blood in the hope of becoming human again and stepping into the light.
One day, Ha (Trinh Thao) discovered the true identities of two vampire brothers, Marco (Thuan Nguyen) and Nhat (Tran Ngoc Vang).
While Marco plans to destroy Ha to protect the secret of the species, Nhat finds every way to protect her. The confrontation between the two brothers becomes even more exciting and complicated with the appearance of Trieu (Chi Pu) – the urban vampire queen.
Thuan Nguyen and Tran Ngoc Vang in the movie.
The personalities of the two vampire brothers are clearly portrayed and are contrasting. Japan has a simple life. Meanwhile, Marco breaks the rules, lives lavishly, and enjoys himself.
After the early screenings, most of the audience praised “The Sun Man” for its images, makeup and meticulous effects. This is considered a strong point of the film when the VFX technology is well completed, especially the scene where the vampire’s skin is burned when exposed to sunlight. High-speed combat segments using slow-motion are also handled smoothly.
The director clearly expressed his intention when using darkness, people appearing suddenly with reasonable sounds to increase drama and scare viewers.
Director Timothy Linh Bui said that the vampire fangs in the movie were designed by an expert in Australia according to each actor’s teeth. The characteristics of vampires are white skin and bright red eyes, carefully recreated by the crew.
The strength of the film lies in the images and effects.
“The film’s camera angles are cinematic. I consider this to be the Vietnamese movie released in theaters with the most beautiful images from the beginning of the year until now?”, SP audience shared.
“The horror part of the movie is at a moderate level, avoiding being too extreme and causing aversion to viewers,” the DP account commented.
The script has many flaws
The topic of vampire movies is no longer new in the world. In “The Sun Man”, the screenplay revealed many weaknesses when the content was easy to predict, and even many segments were unnecessarily long. Many viewers believe that the film is a “mixed pot” when collecting many ideas from famous films with the same theme such as The Lost Boys (1987), Van Helsing (2004)…
The reason why Japan tried to fight against his brother Marco to protect Ha is not convincing because the relationship between the two in the film was weakly built, even though they had just met. Not to mention, the fact that Ha discovered Nhat was a vampire after a drinking session did not create a surprise.
The movie has many unreasonable details.
The fact that Marco and Trieu’s group openly appeared in crowded places without precautions also caused viewers to raise many question marks.
The next bad part of the movie is in the dialogue. It seems that director Timothy Linh Bui wrote the dialogue in English first and then Vietnameseized it. Therefore, in many segments, the character’s dialogue feels exaggerated and not close to reality.
In addition, the hot scene between Thuan Nguyen and Chi Pu in the movie is quite forced and not related to the overall movie.
Regarding acting, Thuan Nguyen naturally performed the role of Marco well. The scene where he shed tears while being exposed to the sun, along with his actions to protect Japan at the last moment, made viewers sympathize.
Tran Ngoc Vang is also the highlight of the film with good acting. He expressed the inner feelings of a person who has to turn his back on fellow humans to protect humanity. The loss and suffering in Japan for hundreds of years are clearly revealed.
Chi Pu only takes on the main role in the film. But in the movie’s poster, she appears in the center position, easily making many viewers mistake her for a key character. Perhaps, the director prioritized and took advantage of Chi Pu’s charisma to attract more audiences to the theater.
Chi Pu’s performance did not leave an impression even though she was previously heavily promoted by the film crew.
Chi Pu’s acting is not too impressive. Her expression does not seem to change in each scene. The actress’s dialogue is also limited as some parts are quite difficult to hear, the audience has to read English subtitles to understand the content clearly.
The main female role of the film is played by Trinh Thao. She plays the role naturally, every gesture and eye shows the character’s personality.
In general, the movie “Sun People” directed by Timothy Linh Bui is just watching for entertainment. For audiences who are demanding about the script and learning more deeply about the vampire world, the film still has too many flaws.