Aroview: True to the spirit of Graham Greene’s novel, this cautionary tale of American interference in 50s French Vietnam is an involving, multi-layered drama, lusciously shot in modernday Saigon.
Michael Caine excels as a clammy, opium-addicted journalist, who befriends the titular American do-gooder (Fraser) only to become trapped in a triangle of personal and political interests. Intense action scenes contrast quieter stretches, where the dialogue bears a bitter, ironic undertow. Its edgy commentary on American foreign policy led to it unsurprisingly being dropped by distributor Miramax following 9/11, but as a reflection of Greene’s ‘nobody wins’ morality this is satisfying and absorbing viewing.
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