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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing Epic
This movie moved me in so many ways. There's the beautiful landscape of Vietnam. So exquisite in the cinematographer's hands that it makes you forget all those tragic images of American Vietnam war movies. Seeing them makes you understand why so many foreigners invaded this beautiful land. There's the blatant and honest look at the oppresion of the Indochinese under...
Published on 23 Nov. 2001

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Old-fashioned storytelling on an epic scale
In its day a casualty of the chaos and confusion surrounding the frequently ridiculous entry qualifications for the Best Foreign Film Oscar - many superior films were ruled ineligible and those it was competing against were scarcely representative of the world's best - Indochine may not be great art, but it is an enjoyable example of the kind of old-fashioned good...
Published on 5 Dec. 2007 by Trevor Willsmer


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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing Epic, 23 Nov. 2001
By A Customer
This movie moved me in so many ways. There's the beautiful landscape of Vietnam. So exquisite in the cinematographer's hands that it makes you forget all those tragic images of American Vietnam war movies. Seeing them makes you understand why so many foreigners invaded this beautiful land. There's the blatant and honest look at the oppresion of the Indochinese under the hands of the French. It's in the background but nothing is glossed over. You will be apalled at the sight of these people being whipped and sold in the name of France. There's the factual depiction of the nationalist movement. The blood, the filth, the brutality...it's there for the audience to see.
But most importantly, there's the excellent performance of the protagonists. All the actors are amazing and convincing in their roles. Deneuve is all elegance and restraint, perfect as Eliane. Vincent Perez is in top-form as Jean-Baptiste. His conversion from rigid military man to someone who finally opens up to what is before him, is utterly convincing. Linh Dam Pham is all allure, innocence and determination. She is a marvelous actress who can convey so many emotions with just a mere look.
The chemistry between the actors are also affecting. There's genuine maternal and filial affection between Eliane (Deneuve) and her adopted Indochinese daughter, Camille (Pham). Lust, decadence and pride dominate Eliane's and Jean-Baptiste illicit affair. Love is in its purest form in the relationship of Camille and Jean-Baptiste. The scenes between Perez and Pham are both tender and sensual, evoking some of the most romantic and unforgettalbe scenes in movie history.
All the protagonists try to avoid the inevitable...the collapse of French control in Indochina...but when fate catches up with them, the events that take place are emotionally wrenching.
The other reviews have pretty much given a thorough synopsis of this movie. But what they forget to mention is that this is a movie driven by two strong female characters. Deneuve and Pham are both stunningly beautiful. Both project an inner strength that convinces the audience that they are not victims, despite all the tragedies they have gone through. Pham's portrayal becomes all the more significant since this is one of those rare movies which shows an Asian woman who is independent and someone who forges her own destiny.
I don't know what else I can say about this movie except that after watching it, it will never leave you. There's beauty, pain, passion and love. What other movie achieves all that.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Old-fashioned storytelling on an epic scale, 5 Dec. 2007
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
In its day a casualty of the chaos and confusion surrounding the frequently ridiculous entry qualifications for the Best Foreign Film Oscar - many superior films were ruled ineligible and those it was competing against were scarcely representative of the world's best - Indochine may not be great art, but it is an enjoyable example of the kind of old-fashioned good storytelling that Hollywood rarely produces anymore.

Set against the last days of the French occupation of what was to later become Vietnam, it uses the relationship between Catherine Deneuve's French plantation owner and her adopted Vietnamese daughter (Linh Dan Pham) as a mirror for the relationship between France and Vietnam. Like the American South, for the privileged few, the French IndoChina is a fairy tale land built on the exploitation of others, which they excuse as 'paternalism.' But the idyll comes crashing down when the daughter runs away from home in search of her lover (Vincent Perez), who had previously had an affair with Deneuve, with tragic consequences.

The film moves between glossy soap opera, political drama and epic romance quite effectively, with strong performances and occasionally striking direction from Regis Wargnier and scoring from Patrick Doyle. Francois Catonne's photography is often disappointing, however, over-fond of the caramel tints that have become something of an unattractive visual cliché for period drama with pretensions to the socio-political, at least until the second act where the film really gets into its stride. Heralded by a sinister procession of sampans making their torch lit way through the night, the scenes on Dragon Island are film-making of a very high order bringing the political, emotional and narrative to the fore in a seamless whole.

Not a great film by any means, but a well-balanced, entertaining and more intelligent one than its detractors give it credit for. No extras on the UK DVD, but a good widescreen transfer.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE GREATEST FILMS OF ALL TIME., 2 Jun. 2006
By 
H S Marks (Manchester UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This film is brilliant on every level and one of the most moving of all time.

The genius of this drama is that starts off as a crowd-pleasing colonial soap-opera and ends up as both a hard hitting political epic and a transcendent love story.

However I strongly urge you to buy the other version sold here on Amazon UK as the subtitling translation especially for the Vietnamese as well as the French, the DVD authoring, the frame-rate and running speed as well as the sound and the colour are all better on the R1 edition.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty and Sorrow, 11 Jan. 2003
By A Customer
This deeply felt and emotionally rich portrait of a country about to change forever is one of the most beautiful films ever made. It is elegant and opulent in it's visual presentation and subtle in it's human tale of heartbreak. This film has the majesty of morning sunlight on water we dare not shield our eyes from for fear we will miss one moment of its glory.
Director Reigis Wargnier has created a masterpiece of epic beauty, showing us the country of Vietnam when it existed as the French colony Indochine. He shows how and why the communist uprising was so popular and the way of life it threatened. It does not make judgements but shows the human drama and the heartbreak caused by a way of life that existed and the one that was coming to change it.

Wargnier accomplishes all this in a slow and visually stunning portrait of one family in Indochine centering around the magnificent performance of Catherine Deneuve as French rubber plantation owner Eliane Deveries and the equally terrific Linh Dan Phan as her adopted Indochine daughter Camille. The contrasts of Eliane's cool elegance and Camille's young and sensual beauty is like a mirror for the country itself as Wargner shows the difference between the French and those that serve them.
Eliane runs her rubber plantation with the help of her 'coolies' and it appears to be her entire life except for her daughter Camille. Eliane's cool outward elegance only masks the repressed emotions she hides from others. Her affairs have been casual and she believes indifference is the secret to surviving love. But that indifference changes dramatically as she finally falls hard for young French Naval Officer Vincent Perez (Jean-Baptiste Le Guen). She throws herself at him as he draws away and discovers she is not enough for Vincent.
There is much unrest at the class distinctions of Indochine. Eliane's Indochine is one of elegance and self-indulgence. It is a world of Fitzgerald and Gatsby. The world of the Indochene people is more severe. This film takes it's time showing us all that is beautiful about the country and slowly begins to show the darkness underneath that beauty when Camille falls in love with Vincent also. Eliane is stunned beyond words but not actions as she uses her clout to have him transferred to the farthest outpost so Camille can go through with an arranged marriage to Tanh (Eric Nguyen).
But Eliane has underestimated her daughter's love for Vincent and she runs away to find him. Vincent has learned about the slave trade which provides Eliane and others like her with their workers in this remote French outpost and sees firsthand it's brutality. When Camille finds him it is during the picking of these workers and a tragedy forces both to flee to a place hidden and supposedly cursed where their love will bloom and a legend will start. There are some tender and moving moments and some true heartbreak involving a baby.
As the communist revolution grows stronger and Camille is imprisoned, Vincent will meet Eliane once more. It is only when Camille is imprisoned that she is even sure she is alive. Her long time aquaintance Guy (Jean Yanne) has been searching for years as the legend of this young beauty has grown so that everyone in the country knows the story. Once released she will be the one to help change the country forever, but not before a heartbreaking meeting with her mother and a sacrifice of love.
This film may indeed be slow but it is emotionally rich and the visual beauty of the country itself is magnificently captured. Deneuve's cool elegance is perfect for the part and her Oscar nomination was well deserved. Linh Dan Phan is wonderful as Camille as she goes from the innocence of dancing with her mother to her country's Joan of Arc. There are no judgements made here. This is a human film and not a political one. This film is what a Renoir painting would be if it could leave the canvas and find our hearts.
Watch this film and stay with it. It is richly rewarding and certainly one of the finest films ever made. It's quiet beauty and sorrow you will not soon forget. You must see, and own, this magnificent film.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Indochine-a must see, 5 Dec. 2010
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This review is from: Indochine [DVD] (DVD)
Surreal cinematography, Ballet like sequences- slow & full of ethos define this gold tinted romance starring Catherine Deneuve & Vincent Perez . It is soulfully tragic love triangle with a mother and daughter falling in love with the same man.....naturally it all goes sad,bad & hopelessly tangled ! Vietnam is a country mangled by war and passions of its past tangling with the fury of the present....people trying to find their way out of oppression , choices that left families torn asunder, lives desolate and a future that isn't as gold as promised.
The film is almost dreamlike with emotions that run fast & furious.
I found it hauntingly sad and painful at times but I would see it again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent portrayal of the french occupation of Indochina, 2 Jun. 2013
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Excellent film on the French involvement in Indochina,great cinematography.

The full reproduced the atmosphere of the period very well.

C.Deneuve had such elegance and huge screen charisma,but the love scenes weren't always convincing.

Nevertheless a classic for this period of french History.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, 29 July 2001
By A Customer
I am compelled to write a little something about this film due to the fact that I read the Amazon review about this film is "..a bit like watching paint dry.". This film is beautiful in every respect. The soundtrack is fantastic and magnifies the ambience of the movie. I was captivated for the duration of this film. You do need a little time to watch this film but this makes the experience more enjoyable. This is not an action movie so steer clear if that's what you want, but it is far from 'like watching paint dry'.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars INDOCHINE- unforgettable power, majestic piece of art !!!, 29 July 2001
This review is from: Indochine [1991] [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Wonderful Indochine-master piece by R.Wargnier.One of the best films I've ever seen that haunted me for years,it's the One I'll never forget. It's hard to put in just a few words all the emotions,thoughts,pictures one has after seeing this amazing story of love,war,fight for freedom(both the country and caracters from this memorable movie),it makes you think and will surely change your views.
Set in French Indochina on the brink of revolution in the 1930s, Indochine tackles numerous social and political issues, many of which are still relevant today.All throughout this romance/drama/time period piece,it's real life you're watching and there lies the strenght of it,together with an extra ordinary cast with spectacular Catherine Deneuve who gave one of her best performances ever.Even if there isn't a word of French known to you an outstanding acting,breathtaking spectacular lush scenery,gorgeous costumes,history that comes alive and divine music by Patrick Doyle will make you drift into the heart of this story.This is the movie you can watch over and over again and never be tired of it.And the Tango scene with C.Deneuve(one wonders what she could do dancing the Tango with Al Pacino!?!-perhaps we'll see that one day!).
I always show and lend this movie out to my friends(totally different characters)and it's always returned to me with one comment- "Love it,an excellent movie!".
This is a A MUST SEE AND HAVE movie and WHY?-Indochine will let you on her secret,just open your heart and soul to "Her".You will not be dissapointed.
If in search for a real piece of Art and your best movie to be then there is only one for you - INDOCHINE!!! You'll never be the same after seeing this movie.You'll be given a very special gift,a wonderful feeling in your heart! The only thing more I can say is - Enjoy!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An epic tale set against hanuting scenery, 18 July 2001
By A Customer
An epic of romance and politics this movie is fantastic for those who love to become lost in a movie. The senery is just magical. The fantastic Catherine Deneuve is the beautiful plantation owner who along with her adopted Indo-Chinese daughter falls in love with a naval officer played by the gorgeous Vincent Perez. Some may see the movie as too long or too over the top but for me it has all the elements of the perfect love story. Pure escapism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable, 23 May 2013
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This review is from: Indochine [DVD] (DVD)
Fascinating portrait of life at the end of French presence in Vietnam. Visiting Vietnam today a visitor will find so many echoes of this era and its legacy. Powerful storytelling. Beautiful cinematography. Stays in the mind.
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