Michael Caine, Brendan Fraser, Do Thi Hai Yen and Rade Serbedzija
Director: Phillip Noyce
Running Time: 101 mins
buy on DVD 8th September
Saigon 1952, American
medical adviser Alden Pyle (Fraser) is found dead. British reporter Thomas
Fowler (Caine) recounts their friendship and rivalry in the troubled country
of Vietnam. As the Communists and the French thought over the country, Pyle
and Fowler thought for the attention of Phuong (Hai Yen), Fowler's young
Noyce adapts Graham Green's novel about American's covert involvement in
the French occupation of Vietnam but concentrates more on the love story
within than making a political statement. Even so post-911, the movie has
had a very limited release in the US as it is deems to show a negative side
to American's early involvement in Vietnam.
This is a shame
as the movie is a tour-de-force for Michael Caine. He brings Thomas Fowler
to life with a very understated, very non-Michael Caine like performance.
Gone is his usual trademark raised voice and accentuated London accent and
in it's place is quite, self-serving manor that keeps him out of trouble
and never threatens his idyllic ex-pat lifestyle as his character watches
Vietnam fall apart around him. This is one of Sir Michael's best ever performances
and finally proves that there is more to his talent than just a Londoner
for which the media ridiculed him for years. This performance will gain
him the respect he deserves, even after winning two Oscars.
Good support comes
from a more serious Brendan Fraser. Also moving away from his usual big
budget screen personas, Fraser delivers a performance that will open his
career up to many new avenues. The movie comes alight when Caine and he
share the screen with their performances making the story all that more
riveting. The beautiful Do Thi Hai Yen as the object of the pair's affections
is also good, even though she has nothing really to do than look stunning.
The film does suffer
from not being hard-hitting enough which is probably due to the current
world climate but it does get its point across. This doesn't affect the
main themes of jealously and personal agenda but the underlying back-story
could have been a little more prevalent.
This is a superbly
acted and beautifully shot movie that is worth going to see for Michael
Caine alone. Director Phillip Noyce brings out the best in the British veteran
by surrounding him with the beauty of Vietnam and the horrors of war.
featuring director Philip Noyce with actors Michael Caine, Brendan Fraser
& Tzi Ma with the film's producers, the writer and the interpreter, 'Anatomy
Of A Scene' featurette, Vietnam study guide, Original book reviews of Graham
Greene's novel 'The Quiet American', Interactive menu & Scene access