British Thomas Fowler enjoys his life in Saigon working as a reporter for the London Times, covering the conflict in Vietnam between the colonial French powers and the communists, who seem to be winning the war. In the later stages of his career, he takes his job lightly now, filing stories only on occasion, and no longer doing field work. But most important, this posting allows him to escape from what he considers a dreary life in London--including an unsatisfying marriage to a Catholic woman, who will never grant him a divorce--which in turn allows him to have an affair with a young Vietnamese ex-taxi dancer named Phuong, whom he loves and would marry if he were able. Phuong's sister doesn't much like Fowler if only because Fowler cannot provide a stable future for her. His idyllic life is threatened when head office suggests he go back to London. In this way, he decides to write a major story to prove to his superiors that he should stay in Saigon. In 1952, Fowler is called into ... Written by
The obscure poem quoted by Fowler and Pyle is 'Dipsychus" by Arthur Hugh Clough. See more »
When Fowler is reading his report of the massacre in The
Times, the text says "120 kilometers". In the unlikely event that an English journalist in the 1950s would use kilometers instead of miles, he would have spelled it "kilometres". Also, the text reads that Phat Diem is "120 kilometers north of Hanoi" when, in fact, it is 120 kilometers SOUTH of Hanoi. See more »
I can't say what made me fall in love with Vietnam.That a woman's voice can drug you? That everything is so intense? The colors, the taste, even the rain. Nothing like the filthy rain in London.
They say whatever you're looking for, you will find here. They say you come to Vietnam and you understand a lot in a few minutes, but the rest has got to be lived. The smell: that's the first thing that hits you, promising everything in exchange for your soul. And the heat. Your ...
See more »
This is a well-acted beautifully-filmed movie that surprised me in good it was. It's one of those "sleepers," meaning a good movie that gets little notice.
I found it interesting from the get-go with Michael Caine doing a superb job, one of the highlights of his distinguished career. Some have even called it his best performance. The same might be said of Brendan Fraser, too, someone who is more known for his lower-brow characters in far less-intelligent films. Those two and Do Thi Hai Yen complete the threesome who excel in the leads. The fact this film takes place in Vietnam and she is Vietnamese makes her all the more believable.
The colors in this film are very pretty, interiors and exteriors. The only negative I had was the obvious political bias in here: Left Wing, of course,(are there any Right Wing-slanted films?) off the novel from the very Liberal Graham Greene. The movie paints an unflattering picture of the early days of America's involvement in Vietnam with Fraser playing "The Ugly American."
Politics-aside, at least half the film is really a love story, as both male leads go after the same woman (Hai Yen). That has a strange ending, is all I will say. All the way through the movie builds in suspense and intrigue in both the politics and the romance. I've seen it twice and thoroughly enjoyed it both times. It's a well-made movie and one that could be enjoyed many times.
34 of 55 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?