Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass

Composed by: Christopher Wong

Distributed by: MovieScore Media

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Based on the novel I See Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass by Nguyễn Nhật Ánh, Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass is a Vietnamese film.  Set in 1980s Vietnam, the movie follows a twelve-year-old boy named Thieu, his seven-year-old brother Tuong and his childhood crush on a girl named Moon.  The two brothers are inseparable and do everything from chores to play together, but this one young girl brings out the very worst in Thieu – jealousy, anger and rage.

                The musical score of Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass was created by  Christopher Wong, a composer who didn’t develop an interest in film music until his last semester in UCLA when he met renowned composer Jerry Goldsmith.  Up until that time, Wong had considered composing music, but mainly concert music.  It was Goldsmith who encouraged Wong to pursue a career in film scoring.  Christopher Wong’s first major credited film score was Journey from the FallSince then, he has become a go-to composer for Asian-American directors, tapped to create the music for The Rebel, How to Fight in Six Inch Heels and more.

                The Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass Soundtrack features traditional Asian sound, led by strings which are often accompanied by piano or guitar.  The first track, The Green Grass is a beautifully captivating instrumental version of Thang Cuoi, a song appearing as the last track of the album.  Tracks like The Fable and Grumpy Teacher are playful, featuring woodwinds and strings that play out a sort of comedic waltz, but as the album moves forward the score becomes more dramatic.  The Days Ahead contains a much faster pace and rising crescendo to the music, leaving you to wonder what dramatic event is taking place in the film (having seen a promotional video for the film, I can guess, but I don’t want to spoil it for others who may want to see the film).  By The Matter of Loving You, the music takes on a more traditional Asian air, adding some traditional Asian instruments to the string score. 

                I loved listening to the Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass Soundtrack.  A fan of traditional ethnic sound, I love that Wong chose to use traditional sound and instruments to illustrate the locale of the film.  The music is very soothing and tells the story of the film beautifully, demonstrating the impish behavior of children that turns into something else as soon as hormones enter the picture.  This is definitely a soundtrack worth taking a listen to.


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