The Quiet American (2002)

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A love triangle blossoms between a British journalist, an agent for the C.I.A. and a young Vietnamese woman in the 1950’s.

Graham Greene novels tend to make the transition to cinema quite well and this political drama set in the years preceding America’s involvement in Vietnam is no exception. It’s an interesting period piece as the subject matter is rarely seen on screen and Michael Caine lends his usual presence and skill to the part of a British foreign correspondent who loses his objective detachment after becoming involved with the affairs of an American aid worker. It’s a well made and well intentioned film but I found it a little schizophrenic, unable to decide whether it was romantic drama or political intrigue. I was far more interested in the political side of things but neither aspect seemed fully developed and only Caine’s performance really engaged as Brendan Fraser seemed out of his element.

A decent attempt though but it in no way equals the visceral impact or emotion of the likes of The Killing Fields, Salvador or Hotel Rwanda.

6/10

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