The title, temporary translated as Blood Money, is a bit exaggerated. Dinh Duc Liem’s Dong Tien Xuong Mau is not quite as dramatic as the title suggested. It’s more like Hong Kong’s romantic drama TV series but lacking the deep impact. Similar to soap opera, Dong Tien Xuong Mau takes forever to build characters. It would have been a great film if it were 2 hours instead of 12 hours series.
Since the plot is not too complicated, it could have been done effectively in 2 hours. Basically, the themes revolve around Dong Tien Xuong Mau are: money, power and relationships. The film emphasizes on the conflict between the old and new generations. In this case, the disagreement is between the father and his children. He’s protective but his children are willing to take risks. The family falls apart when the kids no longer listen to their father and begin to make their own decisions.
While most of the characters are above average, Lam Toi gives an outstanding performance as a father who holds the family as well as the series together. Truong Ngoc Anh is not so bad in her role as Lan Anh but she could have been stronger. Huyen Anh is the pretty one. She’s not drop dead gorgeous but her simple beauty is nice enough to add some visual elements to the film.
Although Dong Tien Xuong Mau is not one of the best Vietnamese drama films, it is still entertaining. If you enjoy Hong Kong’s romantic drama series, you might like this film. What I like the most about the film is the incorporating of Ngoc Lan’s music into the love story. Ngoc Lan’s voice adds tremendous aesthetic experience to the film even though her music was used subtly. Just picture a sad relationship on screen with Ngoc Lan emotional vocal on Tinh Khuc Buon playing in the background, what could be more heartbreaking than that? It’s a perfect enhancement.