Vietnamese Lady (1992)
Reviewed by: STSH on 2000-03-12
HK businessman Kiu (Melvin Wong) doesn't have time to woo a girl. On a trip to Saigon, he offers financial help to poor girl Shun's (very troubled!) family if she'll come and live with him. With a sense of duty but no love, she agrees, too timid to even tell boyfriend Lik just after losing her virginity to him. Love fails to blossom between Shun and Kiu in HK, and Kiu starts to drink heavily. Sandy, Kiu's luscious secretary (who looks like an improved version of Farini Cheung), takes advantage and gets it off with him in the gym and digusts Shun in the process. Shun gets drunk and is picked up in a bar, nearly raped, and rescued then befriended by a fellow Vietnamese, a photographer, in what is clearly a setup. Turns out Sandy is behind this ruse as well, to get Shun out of the way and have Kiu all to herself. But things don't go according to anyone's plan. Will Shun give up Kiu and his money to go back to Lik ? Will Sandy hold her nerve and push ahead? Will the guys Sandy paid to set up Shun have their way with Sandy instead?

For a film which started off looking like a simple story of love vs money, the plot becomes surprisingly involved and very well done near the end.

There's plenty of sex action and nudity, showing off Shun's and Sandy's lovely bodies. Sandy's is far the better, but appears the least of the two. Unlike many HK porns, the music accompanying the sex scenes is sensitive and quite lovely, and actually matches the mood of the characters. Curiously, the theme music from "Picnic At Hanging Rock" makes an appearance ! And the photography is quite beautiful.

On the down side, the acting sometimes slips noticeably. Examples : When Sandy's goons rip her clothes off and threaten rape, the soundtrack shows her screaming for help, but she is briefly but very clearly caught smirking. And in one scene, the evidence that Shun is faking sex with her partner is cringingly
obvious.

OVERALL : clearly a glamour piece for the actress playing Shun. Has faults, but worth watching.
Reviewer Score: 7