Vietnamese-born filmmaker Le-Van Kiet has already made a name for himself as a director who shells out worthy horror and action films. With his latest outing The Princess, starring Joey King, the director has upped the benchmark for himself. In a conversation with News18.com, the Furie director mentioned that he would love to keep exploring genres and not just stick to the ones he has been doing.
However, there is one genre he is not sure about doing – musicals. He said, “I’m not really particular with genre per se. A lot of people will find this film (The Princess) very amusing too. There’s some humour laced into the film. But I’m a big fan of horror, by the way. It’s a lot of fun for me. It’s funny, too. It’s all about the character first, and then whatever genre it falls into. I feel that I can use the craft that I did with horror and action movies to make it work. But I’m not so sure about me doing a musical. But other than that I’m pretty flexible.”
The director, who released The Requin earlier this year, also has other record-breaking films in his kitty. For instance, his martial-arts crime thriller Furie was the Vietnamese entry for the Best Internation Feature Film at the 92nd Oscars. It also made a record as the highest-grossing Vietnamese film in history. Moreover, his 2012 horror film House in the Alley also became the first Vietnamese movie to be released in the entire United States by an American distributor.
Discussing how Asian films and artists are making such a huge impact worldwide, he says people are not afraid of subtitles anymore. He elaborated, “I think it’s the world we live in with the streamers because The Furie had a great opening in our country. We were the biggest. But we’re still a small country and we’re new to the cinema. But when it hit Netflix, I think there was like this wave of new fans and I was so appreciative of that. Globally, everywhere I go now, people know The Furie. Everybody has seen it and it just shows that international films can work, too, all over the world and people aren’t afraid of subtitles anymore. And that just helps our stories to be out there more in a global sense.”
His latest film The Princess tells a story of a princess who denies marrying her sociopath fiance, played by Dominic Cooper, and saves her family and kingdom from his wrath. The film has been receiving a lot of praises for its high-end action sequences and well-choreographed fight scenes. Talking of the most challenging part of shooting the film, he said it was building the tower she is locked in and convincing the audiences that she faced a challenging time escaping.
“The biggest challenge overall for the whole piece is to orient ourselves that she’s coming from the very top (of the castle) to the bottom. But obviously, we weren’t able to build a full set of the tower. So we had to make it in pieces and do it separately. I also had it in my head that the audience would want to feel that she’s so high up, and she’s coming down each step. With all the great modern film tools available, I just still found it very challenging, but I’m glad that they came out the way that they did,” Le-Van Kiet said.
The Princess starring Joey King, Dominic Cooper, Olga Kurylenko, Veronica Ngo, Ed Stoppard and Alex Reid is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.