Saturday, 15 August 2015

The Quiet American

Strange though this may sound, sometimes the quality of a work of art doesn’t really matter. It’s a very rare instance when this is the case, but then how can you take quality over ideology in Joseph Mankiewicz’s 1958 adaptation of Graham Greene’s classic novel?

The film is quite good, possibly. Not as good as the 2002 version (even though you could argue that Michael Redgrave’s performance rivals that of Michael Caine), but definitely a success if you can disengage yourself from the blatant mutilation of Greene’s book which in Mankiewicz’s case was turned into an American propaganda film. 

Except one can't, and shouldn't. With The Quiet American this is simply unforgivable, and I’m willing to completely disregard Redgrave’s brilliant acting. The quality didn’t suffer, it was abused.