First minute : focus on Cyclo, a boy, a teen, a bike courier.

His daily life ? Pedaling, pedaling, pedaling.

With CYCLO, finished the quiet of the house with wards, up to the vast geography and population of Ho Chi Minh City. The bubble faded and the timeless 50’s gears to a obsolete now (the 90’s). Exit the shooting in the paris studio of The smell of the green papaya, here are the shots almost exclusively outdoors. Adios stories of chicks, the CYCLO will be a film of stick figures. The confinement to the intimacy of a family is seen to become a portrait societal unprecedented (for us). The beautiful sensitivity of the author, which was a throughout the 1H44 of The scent of green papaya is being confined to a few flashes of poetry. Finally, goodbye to the slow hypnotic and intoxicating to the previous film ; here, the editing and the dynamism of the image (always the extraordinary Benoit Delhomme in the photo) return to a cinema of urgency –

For those of us who had so loved The papaya., the disenchantment was immediate : almost nothing of what made the flavor of it is not present !!! … … … And this is so much the better ;

CYCLO is probably more marked and less sensitive, but equally captivating. It shows us that we are in front of a director to follow.

The Vietnam portrayed in the CYCLO is extremely exotic, both personally and socially, or culturally. If it is somewhere quite pleasant to lose his markers, Tran Anh Hung us household, however, two entry doors :

– The form of the film-reality, which is that of good as it makes it possible for the ultra-immersion, completely accept the daily life of the characters, despite a clear and fascinating cultural shock.

– The inscription of the film in the genre polar, synonymous with the accessibility to the universe of the film, or the complexity of the characters, by the use of universal codes of narrative.

It is thus that the first 20 minutes of the film will be used, rather classically, to install characters into a routine, a daily newspaper, a reality that is undeniable.

“Tran Anh Hung switches in Cyclo, the accuracy and sensitivity of the Scent of Green Papaya against a social cinema and ultra-immersive. And it is so much better !”

This routine is used in a first time to portray in detail, and empathy, the characters sealed. Around Cyclo : Sister (played by Tran Nu Khen Ye the favorite actress of Tran Anh Hung), a young student travelling between college and a professional life more or less a legal and moral ; the charismatic Madam, the boss of the local gang (and, incidentally, the mother of a handicapped son). Finally, there’s a character near-silent Tony Leung, a Poet. Each of these characters is a benefactor and persecutor to the other, and in particular for Cycle… And Cycle through them all, will an observer remote, active character physically, emotionally, and psychologically (as May in The papaya). Their interactions are a portrait of emotional, human, criminal and social of the Vietnam urban.

Install a routine also allows to prepare for the inevitable derailment of the narrative – the one that will make the chronic social in genre cinema. Any part of an ordinary bicycle theft. An act without a doubt common in a city like Ho Chi Minh, but crucial for Cyclo. This act will commence, however, the escalation of various forms of violence and exploitation of the other, common to all the characters. Physical, social, sexual, emotional, and finally psychological.

This world gangstéreux is built on a kind of intergenerational cycle of poverty, immutable and tragic. Each of the protagonists, but also side characters (the grand father and little brothers of the Cyclo, a few hookers and underlings, a torturer, the son of Madam…) feeds into this vicious circle. The film will explore through the interactions between characters rushed in spite of themselves in a downward spiral, the outlets are (im)possible to this social condition.

Tran Anh Hung is clearly not the first to try to hybridize genre cinema and documentary fiction, but it is perhaps one of the only ones to dare to show up at the heart of the narrative, moments of weightlessness. A true concentrate of its sensitivity to delicate, to make it more sensory description, sum-in all, a pretty crude in Vietnam.

Some brilliant visual not if free, in CYCLO

This dream is common between the poet (Tony Leung) and the sister (Tran Nu Khen Ye), in which they are found in their children’s bodies in the space of a dream, is the manifestation of the deep desires of the characters struck by a certain determinism, to escape their everyday lives without loopholes – in spite of the feeling of love.

The escape of the two lovers a little later, continues this symbolic image expressing the impossibility, in the time of a very nice plan ; although as fast on their motorbike, poet and sister seem to be standing still, stuck in the frame, but also between the values of the plans… the “life” rolling at full speed around them. A freedom paradox.

There is a scene that has absolutely nothing to do in the story, when a helicopter suddenly falls from a truck transport. This helicopter, the symbol of the capitalism imported from the us, reminds us of both the weight of the past as its heavy and tragic legacy rejaillissant on the behaviour venal characters of the film. Which may explain their fascination to this event.

The beautiful transition between a Cyclo cleaning the face in an aquarium after an attack, to his sister, preparing for a new prostitution. A new shift in crime, common to both characters, which leads to a social link tragic as much as family and emotional.

And a few others, which we will leave you the surprise.

And then, nourished by all these elements, CYCLO concludes fairly paroxysmal and paradoxical ;

Tran Anh Hung is out with the stamp a reality-until then it is mostly present, to immerse yourself fully in this dimension of aesthetic-symbolic only evoked at the turn of a few brilliant ; it takes you through this atmosphere the plot polardeuse to an end, propelling its protagonists in an insane hyper-sensitivity caused by a fantastic exhibition of their wounds intimate. CYCLO embraces fully its scope, tragic in watching his characters run to their loss, or to reinforce their pessimistic view of the world.

A conclusion dark but, once again following The scent of the Green Papaya, range from A to Z through a realization of the intelligent knowing merge technique, sensitivity, poetry and writing. Tran Anh Hung seemed to blur the lines, but in the end, does that extend in a form that is more dynamic and social, all the qualities of his previous film. Exciting.


Your opinion ?






Click on the image to view the critical

The scent of green papaya (★★★★★)

“A cinema of the stimulation sensitivity, as we like !”

Cyclo (★★★★☆)

“A social cinema and ultra-immersive, a film that is more masculine but still sensitive”
To the vertical of the summer (★★★★☆)

“A mapping of the feeling of love through the stories, sensitive and delicate of the three couples”

I come with the rain (★★★☆☆)

“A polar sick and fascinating, sublimated as much as ravaged by her attraction to melancholy, violence, and religion”

The Ride of the impossible (★★★☆☆)

“an adaptation that is very far from its original material, where Tran Anh Hung continues its approach of the author seeking the brilliance and dreams from a story, yet very practical – even if that means losing the viewer (or reader) who has not been warned “

Eternity (★★★★☆)

A fantastic adaptation of the original book which is tail-coat in the continuity of the previous work of Tran Anh Hung… Awesome but, in short, almost inaccessible

The elegance of the widows (★★★★☆)

“Tran Anh Hung and Alice Ferney share this love of the portrait of a lady, and this ability to give shape to the aspirations of female

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