The Quiet American

What wants to be a compelling and provocative story involving prophetic revelations about the matters of the heart and eye-opening conclusions about the Vietnam War merely boils down to a superficial love triangle with watered-down political strife and a tacked on murder subplot. Australian native Phillip Noyce helms this adaptation of a Graham Greene novel that stars Sir Michael Caine as a married journalist of the London Times who reports on the current tensions of 1952 Saigon with his Vietnamese mistress close by his side. Soon an American Aid worker/CIA operative (Brendan Fraser) comes along with eyes for this young beauty, and the predictable lovers’ quarrel begins. Vague and undisclosed incidents of history’s bloodiest battle fade into the background so a trite tale of jealousy, betrayal and a consequential murder can take center stage. The Quiet American is a missed opportunity that will fade into the background as well.

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