Young actor Lien Binh Phat plays a leading role in Ngoi Nha Buom Buom (Butterfly House), an adaptation of La Cage aux Folles, a French play written by Jean Poiret in 1973 (Photo courtesy of the producer)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) - The film Ngoi Nha Buom Buom (Butterfly House), a production about a gay couple by director Huynh Tuan Anh, will be release next month by Lotte Entertainment Vietnam.

The film is adapted from La Cage aux Folles (The cage of mad women), a French play written by Jean Poiret in 1973. Folles is also a slang term for effeminate men.

The play was first staged on Broadway in 1983 and won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book.

Since its debut, the play has been staged and adapted into a film many times. 

The Vietnamese version, Ngoi Nha Buom Buom, tells stories of love, betrayal and family issues. LGBT rights are also highlighted.

The film focuses on a young bride named Mai, who discovers secrets about her groom’s family on their wedding day.

The film’s director Anh used young star Lien Binh Phat and pop singer-actress Hoang Yen Chibi to play leading roles.

Phat performed in Song Lang (The Tap Box), a film about the 100-year history and development of cai luong (reformed opera), a genre of traditional theatre in South Vietnam, by Vietnamese-American Broadway dancer and film director Leon Le last year.

He played a cai luong performer who falls in love with his male colleague and makes sacrifices to pursue his dream.

Phat spent several days practising singing and dancing cai luong with experts. 

His performance left a very strong impression on audiences.

He won the Tokyo Gemstone Award in the Best Newcomer category at the Tokyo International Film Festival 2018.

In Ngoi Nha Buom Buom, Phat performs with Meritorious Artist Thanh Loc, and Vietnamese-American comedians Quang Minh and Hong Dao.

“I hope to develop my professional career after playing in Ngoi Nha Buom Buom,” said Phat, who is also a fashion model and dancer.

The film will be released next month.
Film director Anh, a graduate of HCM City University of Theatre & Cinematography, has worked hard on Ngoi Nha Buom Buom, a serious feature film.  

“I want my films to address serious issues. I want my audiences, particularly young people, to think about life after watching,” said Anh, who has worked as a secondary school teacher in Vietnamese literature.

His previous film, Gao Cho Nuoc Song (Rice Market and River) was a feature about travelling cai luong troupes in the Cuu Long (Mekong) River Delta region in the 1970s.             

The 14 billion VND (615,000 USD) film portrays cai luong performers living in Bac Lieu and Ca Mau provinces, home of the art, who were once farmers. Their love and devotion for cai luong are depicted in the film.  

It is based on Cuoi Mua Nhan Sac (The End of Beauty), a short story by female writer Nguyen Ngoc Tu, winner of the ASEAN Literature Awards presented by the Thai Royal Family in 2008.

Anh and his staff rebuilt Tay Sai Gon Theatre (now HCM City Opera House), which offered the first show of cai luong in November 1918.

The show, titled Gia Long Tau Quoc (King Gia Long Travels to the West), features events before the reign of Nguyen Dynasty in the 1780s.  

Gao Cho Nuoc Song was released last year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of cai luong.

“My producers spent several billions on dong on my works, so I do not want to have any mistake during filming,” said 35-year old Anh, who worked on plays before becoming involved in film.-VNS/VNA