Rated: R For sex and violence. Reviewed by: Frank Release date: December 25, 1993 Released by: Warner Brothers
The wars in Vietnam (French Indochina seem endless. Oliver Stone has chosen to follow a woman's life, Le Ly (Hiep Thi Le) from the 1950s to post Vietnam America as the foreground for the tapestry of the damage that war cost Vietnam and the United States.
Le Ly faces every vision of evil from a Gothic heroine who has sex with the master of the house she works for and is thrown into the street when she is discovered to be pregnant, to the insanity of an American Vietnam vet who becomes her husband.
There is much beauty in the fields and rice farms in Central Vietnam and Le Ly is part of a respected, close Phung family. When the tension begins from the Viet Cong in the North, her village is caught in between. The Saigon forces hold control during the day and the Viet Cong during the night. Those perceived by either side as giving comfort to the enemy are tortured and killed. Soldiers are the symbols of death and danger. It doesn't matter which side they belong to.
Le's performance is brilliant and remarkable. Tommy Lee Jones is also outstanding as the troubled Sergeant Steve Butler.
This is a tough, painful journey by Le Yy's strength and resilience make it worth the trip.
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