The Quiet American

Thomas Fowler: Michael Caine
Alden Pyle: Brendan Fraser
Phuong: Do Hai Yen
Inspector Vigot: Rade Sherbedgia
Hinh: Tzi Ma
Joe Tunney: Robert Stanton
Bill Granger: Holmes Osborne
General The: Quang Hai
Mr. Muoi: Ferdinand Hoang

Miramax Films presents a film directed by Phillip Noyce. Written by Christopher Hampton and Robert Schenkkan. Based on the novel by Graham Greene. Running time: 118 minutes. Rated R (for images of violence and some language).

Central Theme
In the murkiness and complexity of a world in which things are not as they appear, whether in love or war we must take a stand and declare our intentions.

From the classic novel by Graham Greene comes a murder mystery centered on a love triangle set against the French Indochina War in Vietnam, circa 1952. It’s the true story of a veteran English journalist (Caine), a young American (Fraser) and the beautiful Vietnamese woman caught between them. This is a world where nothing is what it seems–suffused with opium, intrigue and betrayal.

Caine loves Thuong, but is married to a Catholic back home who want grant divorce. Once an idealist, he now wants nothing more than a peaceful life, the love of a woman, a good book and a little opium. Pyle is a true believer whose affection for Phuong is obvious and whose motives in Vietnam are less apparent. And for any who have been there the movie provides glimpses of how Vietnam itself is such a different place culturally and in virtually every way.

This film portrays the complexity of motive, relationship and drive, rooting it in a specific time and place.

Beliefs num
–Non-involvement is not an option if one wants to stay human.
–Human hearts are deceitful and what you see is not always what is real.
–Love is more important than marriage vows.
–Wars are driven my mixed motives: a hunger for power, a passion for ideas, uncontrolled egos.
–When they want to, humans can justify war.
–Ethical rules are suspended in war.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–Is it possible to stay uncommitted in relationships or moral and ethical issues?
–Is Fowler’s wife’s refusal to grant a divorce a loving act or not?
–Without commitment can Fowler really love Phuong?
–Why would Phuong, or any woman allow herself to be dependant on a man who has not married her?
–Are there any wars with purity of motive and execution?
–What are the lessons of Viet Nam for our nation?

Provocative Quotes byline
–I can’t say what made me fall in love with Viet Nam¢â‚¬¦that a woman’s voice can drug you¢â‚¬¦that everything is so intense, the colors the taste, even the rain¢â‚¬¦Nothing like the filthy rain in London. They say whatever you’re looking for you will find here. They say you come to Viet Nam and understand a lot in a few minutes. But the rest has got to be lived.The smell that’s the first thing. Promising everything in exchange for your soul.
==Thomas Fowler.
–I offer no point of view. I take no action. I don’t get involved.
==Thomas Fowler.
–Yes I am, but not to her.
==Thomas Fowler to Pyle when asked if he is married,
–These Americans cause a lot of trouble for us, but still, a murder is a murder.
–A face with no history and no problems, A face we all once had. He reminded me there was once a time when I wanted to make a difference,
==Thomas Fowler about Pyle.
–You know it is not easy to remain uninvolved.
==Pyle to Thomas Fowler.
–It doesn’t make sense. The communists don’t kill towns people, It’s not in their interests.
==Thomas Fowler at a village massacre blamed on the communists.
–Believe me if I were to lose her, it would be the beginning of death.
==Thomas Fowler to Pyle about his love for Phuang.
–I don’t believe in divorce. My religion forbids it. So the answer is no.
==Thomas Fowler’s wife to his request for divorce.
–Let’s just look at Fong, Mistress of an older European girl. Well that pretty well describes the whole country doesn’t it?
–I should have realized how saving a country and saving a woman would be the same thing for someone like Pyle.
==Thomas Fowler.
–There was a woman with a baby. She covered it with her hat. This man, he died right in front of his family. Pyle. Did you see him? He spoke it was his native language.
==Thomas Fowler after the bombing of innocents.
–Sooner or later Mr. Fowler, one has to take sides¢â‚¬¦one has to remain human.
==Thomas Fowler’s assistant and informant wanting a favor, the betrayal of Pyle.
–I can’t take you to London. I’m not leaving here¢â‚¬¦never. Will you come back to me?
==Thomas Fowler to Phuong.
–They say there is a ghost in every home and if you make peace with him. He will stay quiet.
==Thomas Fowler

Posted in Movies, Staublog in February 7, 2003 by | No Comments »

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