MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2 1/2

Using English subtitles, this film with dialogue in French and Vietnamese, is set in Indochina from the 1930s to the early 1950s. It is a story of two generations, two races and two cultures that meet and clash in the drive by Indochina to overthrow French rule and become modern Vietnam. With historical and political overtones, the plot is unraveled through a series of flashbacks. Eliane Devries (Catherine Deneuve), a rubber plantation owner, represents the civilized aspect of colonial rule, treating her workers firmly but fairly. She has a brief, torrid affair with a French sailor Jean Baptiste (Vincent Perez). Her adopted Indochinese daughter, Camille (Linh Dan Pham), represents the younger generation caught between its ties to the old system and the anti-colonialist revolution. Camille obeys the dictates of her native society and marries the young man who has been chosen for her. All the while, she is madly in love with a French sailor who earlier had saved her life, none other than the same Jean Baptiste. In spite of her wedding vows, she leaves immediately to make the long trek by foot to northern Indochina in search of Jean-Baptiste. The last third of this epic concentrates on the tragic, romantic adventures of the young lovers. This movie is too long, running about 2 1/2 hours. The scenery is superb, as well as the intrigue of the time period and setting. Eliane is well portrayed as being both fearless and elegant at the same time. The other actors seem one dimensional. Overall, the movie resembles an epic soap opera.

With relatively few crudities and obscenities, INDOCHINE would seem to be rather acceptable. The movie, however, exhibits some fatal flaws. First, adultery is apparently condoned. Second, the mother and then the daughter have an affair with the same man. Third, Communism is portrayed as the best choice for a young Indochinese person who wants to succeed, even to the point of forsaking family. Also, obscenities, profanity and nudity are included. At the same time, in a touching scene, a father baptizes his son. The misguided themes and some foul language earn a negative acceptability for INDOCHINE.

Preview Reviewer: Alice Anderson
Sony Pictures Entertainment, 10202 Washington Blvld., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (2) times - Moderate

Obscene Language: Few (2) times (s-word)

Profanity: Few (3) times - Regular

Violence: Several (7) times - Moderate to severe (shootings, bloody wounded and dead people)

Sex: None - implied once (heavy fondling)

Nudity: Several (7) times (brief frontal nudity, baby nursing,low-cut dress)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few (4) times - comments about pregnancy, affairs, seduction)

Drugs: Several times - Smoking opium, alcohol drinking

Other: Adultery condoned, gambling, Communism glorified, racial slurs

Running Time:
Intended Audience:

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.