Country : Vietnam
Title : Rom
Genres : Drama, Crime
Rating : 15
Year : 2019
Time : 79 min.
Director : Tran Thanh Huy
Actor : Tran Anh Khoa, Nguyen Phan Anh Tu, Do Nhu Cat Phuong, Mai Tran
The film takes place in an old apartment complex that’s been waiting for demolition work for 10 years now. Everyone in this complex is in deep debt with their creditors – fraudsters that mask themselves as investors.
The residents gamble in the hope that they can gain enough money to keep their apartment and achieve their small dreams. However, the price for their “small dreams” could be their own life.
14-years-old Ròm works as bookie lottery runner to earn a living. He lives an unsettling life in the old complex following his separation from his parents when he was little and always yearns to earn enough money to find them in the Central region of Vietnam.
Gambling on the lottery is common amongst people from the working class backgrounds. It is the high probability of a potential return for a relatively small investment, up to 70 times of the investment, which makes it easily to entice the working class to play it frequently.
The bookies make their commission money by consulting with old and new players on the luckiest lottery numbers. Ròm’s rival is Phúc, an ambitious bookie that, due to his streak of picking the winning numbers, the people in the apartment complex trust him over Ròm. Both the players and bookies are superstitious. They pay close attention to every single thing in their daily life that could give them a hint to choose the lucky number.
Desperate to get more customers, bookies even trick the superstitious customers into believing scenarios that are often set-up to “appear” real but are actually not. Ròm uses all sorts of tactics to compete with Phúc by using tricks he learnt from the streets but refrains himself from using superstitious tricks.
Through their rivalry, Ròm by coincidence finds out Phúc had been tricking the residents for a long time by using all the dirty tricks in the books to make them lose and pushing them further deeper into their debts.
Seeing that this isn’t right, Ròm changes this by helping the people pick a good number. Ròm’s number wins and Phúc loses all of his customers to Ròm. Believing in Ròm’s good luck, the tenants of the apartment complex want to bet big to settle all of their debts.
Before they could place their bets for Ròm to turn in, he is nowhere in sight. Unbeknownst to everyone, Phúc kidnaps Ròm and takes all of the bets himself. But he is late in turning them in. Once Ròm finally appears, the creditors are demanding if their debts are not paid off, they will take their apartments.
Betting everything they have, it is now up to Ròm to save the apartment complex tenants again. This time around, will he succeed?