'The Quiet American
(Michael Caine / R / 101 mins / Miramax)
Overview: Based on Graham Greene's novel, the story, set in the 1950s, revolves around a cynical British journalist and opium addict (Michael Caine) who has spent 20 years in French Indochina (later Vietnam) and has an increasing resentment of American colonialism in the nation. Part of that resentment includes his rivalry with a young CIA operative (Brendan Fraser) over a beautiful Vietnamese woman.
Verdict:’The Quiet American’ is remarkable in many ways and not only because it’s true to Greene's novel, but moreover because it has the effect of making the novel itself seem truer than it has ever been. One of the year's most arrestingly entertaining and impressively acted dramas for grown-ups, ’The Quiet American’ as a movie is a towering achievement with a soul-baring performance by Michael Caine that deserves the highest praise come Oscar time. Caine's performance as Fowler is simply outstanding and although this movie is essentially a three-character melodrama with a colorful wartime backdrop, it’s still a compelling gripping drama that forcefully brings history to life.
Reviewed by Russ Trunk