THE GIRL FROM YESTERDAY
Cô Gái Đến Từ Hôm Qua
Directed by Phan Gia Nhat Linh
Official Selection, Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival
Young love is alive and butt-kicking for class-clown Thu and his classmates when the alluring Viet An appears from out of his lush daydreams and into his high school classroom. Normally too cool to care, Thu can’t seem to get the right words out when he tries to confess his feelings to Viet An or simply ask her out on a date. Viet An, on the other hand, is in complete control of their relationship as she playfully torments Thu to the brink of a complete breakdown. At the same time, Thu can’t help but reflect on the memories of his childhood friend and first love, in the hopes of learning from the girl from yesterday something to properly express his love to the girl of the present.
Based on Nguyen Nhat Anh’s YA novel of the same name and directed by Sweet 20 director Phan Gia Nhat Linh, THE GIRL FROM YESTERDAY is as bright and goofy as young love should be. Thu’s daydreams are vibrant and fill the screen with enough exuberant joy to make us fall in love right alongside him. Though perhaps even more joyful is seeing Viet An and her girlfriends, who are clearly superior in craft and intellect to their immature male counterparts, as they watch the boys squirm and flail while outsmarting and outwitting them at every turn. Teenage love can often be excessive, but sometimes it leads to a Heath Ledger-inspired serenade in front of the entire school and suddenly it all becomes worth it. –James Paguyo