The Quiet American Phillip Noyce 2002 Germany / USA / UK / Australia / FranceAgainst the political tensions of 1952 Saigon, a reporter for the London Times befriends an American medic, who takes a liking to the former's Vietnamese girlfriend.Intriguing, complex and compelling drama-cum-thriller that unfolds in an even, dream-like fashion before revealing - like all great stories of this kind do - something more significant is at stake (romance is bested by politics). There's a subtlety to Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser's onscreen chemistry, as two men - one old and naive and the other young, sleazy and naive - that recalls the kind of old-fashioned storytelling of a Hollywood whose works challenged the conditions under which they were made: there's a sort of surface 'detachment' from events here that allows the film to operate in an unconfrontational and unpreachy manner whilst developing its very clear depiction of a US-backed terror in particular and the country's aggressive, underhanded foreign policies in general. It has to be Caine's finest hour, and it may very well also be Fraser's.See also: PHILLIP NOYCE.
I have never liked Fraser in anything I've seen him in, but I bought this at a store that was going out business awhile back, and your summary makes me want to finally watch it. It is one of the last films in my collection that I haven't seen yet, after that few year period where I blind bought like crazy (before Netflix).
The novel's good, much more extensive and in depth politically than the film. Much tighter narratively too. I found the film a little disappointing after reading the novel myself, but it's not a bad film for what it is.
"in the last analysis terrorism is an idea generated by capitalism to justify better defense measures to safeguard capitalism." RW Fassbinder