Not that I have seen all the extras yet, but I did enjoy the DVD of Phillip Noyce’s (an Australian) 2002 adaptation of The Quiet American last night. According to Wikipedia some reviewers thought this version of Grahame Greene’s novel suffered from “overly restrained performances and a heavy-handed moralism that was absent in the original Greene novel.” I didn’t think so, though it is restrained. As for the moralism, I suspect that really owes more to Greene than anyone else. All that mid-20th-century Catholic angst really is dated now.
What struck me about the movie was its function as a parable for our for post-9/11 world, a reminder that terrorism is not new, and that US policy has long been heavy-handed.
Speaking of US policy: who would have thought back in those heady days of Cheney and Rumsfeld and “shock and awe” that we would be reading Powell Says US Losing in Iraq three years down the track? Yet the issue of to withdraw or not to withdraw is fraught indeed. More and more it seems the strategy has been the problem, not just the tactics. So last night’s movie was full of irony.