Movie Review 2008 #9: He Was a Quiet Man

He was a Quiet Man stars Christian Slater, William F Macy and Elisha Cuthbert.


He was a Quiet Man tells the story of Bob. Bob is a nebbish of an office drone, who has two way conversations with his fish, is generally put upon by all around him, and leads what can charitably be described as a pathetic and pitiable existence. His life is a mess, and he has fantasies about shooting his co-workers and himself.
As you might expect, being such a nebbish, Bob lacks the guts to actually accomplish his plan. On yet another day when Bob is pushed around, another co-worker’s rampage provides Bob the unexpected opportunity to be a hero…
So begins “He was a Quiet Man”, a movie which is a compound of motifs and other movies in an uneasy jumble. Despite an unlikeable protagonist, Slater’s performance is very unlike most of his previous characters. We do get a sense of just how put upon Bob is in his life. Elisha Cuthbert, William F Macy and the minor actors in the movie do decent jobs.
Still, the movie isn’t cohesive. Talking fish, a nebbish protagonist, and strands of several plots just don’t add up to a whole. It feels like pieces of several movies put together.
The ending of the movie is an twist which causes you to re-frame most of the events seen. It doesn’t feel like a cheat, however, and given what we had seen of Bob, it fits in with his personality. It does bring the movie together somewhat in the denouement.
He was a quiet Man is an alright movie. The parts don’t jell together as well as they might, but its a okay night’s viewing.