An ambitious scholar becomes the ambassador of Sarkan, a southeast Asian country where civil war is brewing.An ambitious scholar becomes the ambassador of Sarkan, a southeast Asian country where civil war is brewing.An ambitious scholar becomes the ambassador of Sarkan, a southeast Asian country where civil war is brewing.
An intelligently crafted and written movie...but not too exciting on a cinematic level
Marlon Brando gives a fair performance as the new American Ambassador elected to Sarkhan in Southeast Asia, which had been a peaceful, friendly nation fifteen years prior but is now being taken over by radical Communists distrustful of outside development. Adapted from the novel by William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick, the dramatic, talkative picture (filmed mostly in Thailand) is a thoughtful rabble-rouser about conflicting political views. Brando's one native confidante in Sarkhan (wonderfully portrayed by Eiji Okada) admits to working both sides of the proverbial fence, which allows for a stimulating discussion of personal values in which common sense no longer comes into play. Although beautifully photographed by Clifford Stine, the results are literate and intriguing without being intrinsically exciting (at its core, the nature of the film is a tug-of-war, with the participants often engaged in a shouting match). Moving in fits and starts, one must sit through a great deal of pontificating before arriving at the conclusion, however the film's strongest scenes remain forceful and memorable. ** from ****
- Mar 31, 2010
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