Urbanist Hanoi

Back Arts & Culture » Film & TV » Shot in Saigon, 'Monsoon' Stars Henry Golding as a Gay British-Vietnamese

Shot in Saigon, 'Monsoon' Stars Henry Golding as a Gay British-Vietnamese

Monsoon centers on a gay Vietnam-born British man named Kit as he returns to his home country.

The film is directed by Cambodian-British filmmaker Hong Khaou, who spent his childhood living in Vietnam before moving to the United Kingdom. Monsoon is Khaou’s second feature film after his 2014 debut Lilting.

Henry Golding, who is famous for his role in Crazy Rich Asiansplays the main protagonist, Kit. After his mother’s death, he returns to Vietnam to find a meaningful place to scatter her ashes.

Distinctly Saigon shots serve as the background for Kit's journey.

According to Khaou, the film examines the feeling of dislocation central to Kit's experience in Saigon, capturing his journey of reconciling with a place that is so different from what he remembers as a six-year-old kid, and navigating this alienation.

“Vietnam is changing so quickly. It wants to be this exciting new capitalist country, and everything is possible there,” the director told Variety. “I wanted for Kit to have this sense that when he arrives in Vietnam it is this foreign place, and he has to slowly forge a relationship with it.”

A modern-day Saigon with notable contemporary landmarks.

During his time in Vietnam, Kit meets Lewis, played by Parker Sawyer, an African-American entrepreneur living in the city whose father fought in the American War. The two develop a romantic relationship. 

“I wanted to hide behind this Vietnamese character, so to speak, and talk about these feelings and issues I’ve always had about having to flee a war-torn country…and the struggle for a sense of cultural identity,” Khaou told Variety.

“The odd thing is, I’m not Vietnamese. I was born in Cambodia but I left when I was just a baby. I grew up in Vietnam and all my childhood memories are of Vietnam. In the early drafts, I was thinking, ‘should I make him Cambodian?’ Through writing and re-writing, he took on the shape of a British-Vietnamese man, even though I’m not,” Khaou told Glass Magazine.

Have a look at the trailer below:

[Photo via Variety]

Related Articles

in Film & TV

'Dao Cua Dan Ngu Cu' Actress Ngoc Thanh Tam on Her Craft and Feminism in Vietnamese Cinema

The young talent explores her transition to acting, its hectic yet colorful challenges, the films she took part in and anticipation towards the future of Vietnamese cinema.

in Film & TV

'Hai Phuong' Becomes Highest-Grossing Vietnamese Movie of All Time

Hai Phuong landed US distribution rights from Well Go USA Entertainment, and has been played in 28 cities in America and Canada since March 1.

in Film & TV

'The Third Wife' Nominated for 3 Independent Spirit Awards

The controversial film got nods for Best Cinematography and Best Editing, while director Ash Mayfair was nominated as 'someone to watch.'

in Film & TV

'Thưa Mẹ Con Đi' and the LGBT Films at the Forefront of Vietnamese Cinema

Personally honest, socially important and commercially sexy, modern movies about gay and transgender people are among the better works of contemporary Vietnamese cinema.

in Film & TV

21 Studio Ghibli Films Are Coming to Netflix Vietnam in the Next 3 Months

In the upcoming months, Ghibli aficionados in Vietnam will be able to stream their favorite flicks right at home.

in Film & TV

6 Vietnamese TV Classics That Should Be on Netflix Instead of 'Hậu Duệ Mặt Trời'

Gone were the days of timing one’s bathroom dash exactly during commercial breaks and gathering around a neighbor’s old television set, the only one in the entire alley, to relish every minute of a ho...