Big budget flop goes for second run on Netflix

By Mai Nhat   February 28, 2023 | 03:00 pm PT
Big budget flop goes for second run on Netflix
The main characters of "Thanh Soi". Photo by Netflix
Ngo Thanh Van, producer and director of the R-rated action drama “Thanh Soi” (Wolf), will release the movie on Netflix after an unsuccessful run at the box office.

The movie will be available for streaming on Netflix on March 23.

Thanh Van said the plan to release the film online has her feeling reinvigorated after a disappointing local box office run in December.

"At that time, I was disappointed with myself because of my lack of knowledge about the domestic market. I was about to give up and nothing could cheer me up," Van said.

But she said that releasing the film on Netflix has given her new motivation to keep going.

"For me, this is my second achievement, after "Hai Phuong" (her first movie). I might still have shortcomings, but I will always have the biggest love for Vietnamese cinema," Van said.

According to the film’s distributor, "Thanh Soi" has only grossed a mere VND25 billion ($1.05 million) so far, which means a total loss of millions of dollars.

Van said she put immense efforts and resources into the project. After multiple delays and re-edits due to censorship, the budget ballooned to much higher than intended.

Comedian and director Tran Thanh said he felt sorry for Van because "Thanh Soi" cost so much money and suffered such heavy losses.

The movies is set in Saigon in 1988 and tells the origin story of Thanh Soi, an antagonist in Van’s movie "Hai Phuong" (Furie), which grossed VND200 billion in 2019.

The action sequences, which mainly took place in clubs and old apartments, are the highlight of the movie. Some even said the action in these scenes was better than some of the action in "Hai Phuong".

However, critics said the script and the message of the movie was weak. They said the film’s essential plot, Thanh Soi’s journey to becoming a mob boss, was unclear, confusing and not well-explained.

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