THE SCENT OF GREEN PAPAYA relates the life of Mui, a simple peasant girl, who comes to work for a wealthy family in 1951 Saigon as a servant. Ten years later, Mui has changed into a sophisticated young woman who is beautiful, obedient and self-sacrificing. Filmed with utmost sincerity and attention to detail, the film stands out as an excellent example of the potential and power of movies to inspire and shed light on the frequently dark corners of human experience without resorting to sex, violence or foul language.
THE SCENT OF GREEN PAPAYA relates the life and development of ten-year-old Mui, a simple peasant girl, who comes to work for a wealthy family in 1951 Saigon as a servant girl. Ten years later, Mui has changed into a sophisticated young woman who is beautiful, intelligent, obedient, self-sacrificing, and loyal. Along the way, Mui learns the art of cooking, acquires a servant’s heart and puts up with a ten-year-old boy’s obnoxious antics. She falls in love with her unmarried master and refuses to be jealous of his girl friend. The climax of the film comes when Mui’s wealthy composer employer plays the piano. His girl friend professes her love for him while he ignores her, leading her to run outside into the rain. Mui then enters the room and dusts around the piano and very subtly in time, he comes to understand Mui’s love for him.
THE SCENT OF GREEN PAPAYA is a film of little overt action and minimum dialogue that relies heavily on the subtle use of image and sound to create the exotic world of Saigon before it collapsed. The director’s close attention to detail and numerous extended close-ups give the film its very richly imbued “oriental” feel and embellishes it with a textural density far greater than the simple story and its subtle character revelations.
(L, M, S) Exclamatory "God" occurs 3 times; implied sexual act; and, bathroom humor & 10-year-old boy shown urinating.