Charting a woman’s downfall after she commits adultery to continue the family bloodline, “In the Name of Love” starts off provocatively, with a scene echoing “The Scarlet Letter,” and looks set to be a broodingly sexy yarn of Jacobean excess. But halfway through, all logic crumbles in helmer Luu Huynh’s crude screenplay, and the pic turns into a ridiculously theatrical variation on “Fatal Attraction,” with the genders reversed. One of a recent batch of artsy, vaguely erotic fest-bound films from Vietnam, the pic may be marketable exotica for very niche ancillary.
To satisfy her infertile husband, Khanh (Huy Khanh), who yearns for a child, Lua (Dinh Y. Nhung) asks lottery vendor Linh (Thai Hoa) to impregnate her. Predictably, Linh grows attached to the baby, and also stalks Lua for regular sex. Helmer Luu strikes the same blunt, soapy notes to reinforce Linh as a devilish figure, using distorted camera angles that only accentuate Thai’s overacting. The picturesque mise-en-scene of a tranquil lakeside fishing community fades into insignificance as the action hijacks the drama and characters.