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THE oUIET AMERICAN (15) 100min O...

In an article called ‘The treachery of Mr Joseph L Mankiewicz’, Graham Greene wrote: ‘This is the first time a film director has ever used a film as a weapon to murder an author.’ Greene didn’t like Mankiewicz’s 1958 adaptation of his novel, The Quiet American. Probably for numerous reasons, but not least because the film excised the book’s political, critical comment on America’s early involvement in Vietnam.

This new version retains the critical comment. Although Greene never liked any of the films of his books (he hated The Third Man because Orson Welles added the scene in the big wheel), it’d be interesting to see what he would have made of this film, smartly scripted by Brit Christopher Hampton, impeccably directed by Aussie Phillip Noyce and featuring a career best performance by an actor of Greene’s

Like Fowler, he drank too much. And like Fowler, Greene was savvy about the political climate, in particular America’s covert efforts to undermine communist rule.

Career best performance from Michael Caine

plays the part almost as pastiche - Clark Kent but nerdier.

Caine may win his first Best Actor Oscar for the film, which would be ironic as this was shelved for a year

acquaintance, Michael Caine.

In fact, Caine, whose performance is remarkably restrained and beautifully modulated, based his part, Thomas Fowler, a jaded British newspaper correspondent in Saigon at the end of the French lndo-China colonial period, on Greene himself. Like Fowler, Greene took a young Vietnamese lover while overseas.

Fans of the book might find Caine a little old for the part (he’s 68 playing mid-50$) but his interpretation of this world-weary journalist, disinterested enough in his job not to bother anymore and melancholy with love for a younger woman is spot on. Brendan Fraser (Miles Fielder) as the American interloper with a I General release from Fri 29 Nov. See hidden agenda is less convincing. He page 73.

by US distributor Miramax, whose head honcho Harvey Weinstein was worried the political content (which involves an American committing an act of terrorism) might be unpopular with the American public. Graham Greene would have cracked a smile.


L‘s-2'. " i'\-;;.'. v ‘ifl'.’ :21. Ai‘er"s; lTr‘e Orse o‘ flower) 3) '~r,"“:;:-:,- '3. t"-:.- was oai'e‘r-oe "aster. cored es; ' . plot. Crack "5;..rar‘ee E-L' ilglré A -;,-' fires '.(: some a sews; of e.'.e' : -':' -~ ' yr; " ff-:;:: .."ile" t'ie Mt ..enoe ~".:_.;-'.- is'. Zia. :2 Ogden ersn. lvlakng his » :”l-T:'. :~ '."-',- "est o‘ "'E; e“ (:aenr', l‘ )" l(‘ ' i. /.‘\r' {i '(]\l . ’M’"" the b. l a,. >t.'.'ee't K. 1 i' r" Ca (‘i' 1') 't‘ l 'v (J(?"‘(:(“:f; t. ‘l.( ' ' " "e ' the <;:;" :;-e.., a< k t Enough, more than . . . ,' " ’2 i::, ;:.-f,~:: o. A eh aw: ‘:.;'i‘.. j j I ‘1' r 'V\(Iifr'\f; “'3... '{:.,l H -' Eietaiefl . one” "o " '."e UK

(15) 115min O.

“teats-'2 '."»:,- "W :3'*’:‘.'.‘; Ale" glo'ig :;‘.e' '."-:,- ‘3'.£:".f:£t"flf§ 1;" t"-::- s;:;.."~:itra::k ti. J Lo. or 'Jeimy' Lope/ as she's now known. .s asking for it. aopearng ': a fivi‘ llllGCl Enough: ‘EnOugh is enough!’ More Ilia" Enough? "Enough. already!‘ Eliot/go? It ain't good enough.

Starts; o‘i pro'i‘isiiit‘ly enough. though. Lopez plays Slim a y ‘eisty .'.a-tress; ‘.'.'.".() .2; su'rept off ner fee: by Mitch lBllly ' e' i’. {or ,z‘:'. '7; " ~ 5.4;" sums it: woe" ,txuger Canton 3ii=, ‘.'."‘i() is; as handson‘e as he is charming as he is

' '.'.‘(}E.i|i3";'y. they more into a Hit.) house. get hitched and have a kid. Bliss. U'tr Si n‘ discovers the hard way that hubby is a on andei'er {i"(l nail :- oeate". Leaying her broken spirit and a oth or i.’.'() oi blood behind. Silll‘ n‘akes off with the child. at'oots a false dentity and atten‘pts to start a new life. But lvlitoh and "-s hired thugs are always Just one step behind her. and so Slnv‘ merittléllly decides that. yep. enough is enOugh.

it"s .5; ‘.'.'l‘.(3t‘() ll‘.(3 lvllt‘. thus far largely believable and

reasonably oon‘pe-ing. beeon‘es frankly ridiculous. Realising that she needs; to confront her abuser. Sllll‘ undertakes martial arts trainng so that she can. wait for it. become a lllllja. tool up 1r; the kod of gadgets 00)" would be happy With. break into Mitt:"'§; i"o.'i‘e (1".(1 K” the lt‘étll.

\‘Jhat starts off (if; a gritty «by Hollywood standardSi drama (leiltl't‘tif; an aetzov lt‘.()\.’le. This bolting together of the real and the ‘aotastlt: just doesn't work. It‘s a case of too lt‘UCl‘ and not enough Miles Fielder;

I (Eeriera' release from Hi 29 Nov

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w" "l 1‘ w « Complete lack of wit and charm

.78 Nt)‘.



A World War | ghost stOiy which lacks everything one has a right to expect from 8 Supernatural movie terror. suspense. atmosphere. even a ghost. A squad of British soldiers is stranded behind enemy lines when thick fog (which they initially mistake lOr mustard gast suddenly envelops the battlefield. Taking refuge in a nearby trench. they immediately sense that something is wrong. Where are the German soldiers who were holding this position? Then. one by one. members of the squad start meeting with mysterious. Violent deaths.

A total disaster

Investment in the stop- start plot and cardboard characters is stymied from the Outset by a series of creative and technical shortcomings. With the soldiers covered in mud. it is extremely difficult to tell who is who. Direct0r Michael J Bassett's Chronic failure to establish the geographical lay-Out ol the trenches also means that we never have a clue where anybody is. The images and ideas are equally vague and murky. fOrCing the actors to act in a mist of confusion.

Bi/ly E/l/Ott star Jamie Bell’s limited acting abilities are cruelly exposed by the sloppy dialogue. which is littered With historical anomalies. including modern military slang. A comprehensive disaster. right down to the cheesy-looking CGI finale. (Nigel Floyd)

I General release from Fri 6 Dec.

‘2 [lee AX)? THE LIST 21