HE WAS  A QUIET MAN by Frank A. Cappell is about a man who desperately wanted to be loved, or to be behaved nicely by those around him. At least, he wanted you to  acknowledge his hopeless existence. His colleagues, neighbors, the woman he wanted to love, his boss, nobody but did so.

And what the protagonist plans to do out of his terrible sense of unimportance is to shoot his colleagues. When he gathers enough courage to pull the trigger at his fellow-workers in his office, what if another colleague does the same thing? Are many persons in our offices getting alienated by the system and turning shockingly dangerous?

A sad, powerful critique of our urban office cultures, HE WAS A QUIET MAN, with a strong undercurrent of black humor, criticizes the hypocrisies of our office lives. Its pressures and habits: the very office culture in modern civilizations. The protagonist, Bob, incredibly played by Slater, is a completely lonely figure, who converses only with his aquarium fish, and has been not known by his neighbor despite his five years stay in the same house. Nobody at his office cares to notice him or acknowledge his existence with dignity. Rather he often gets mentally and physically insulted by his fun-loving colleagues. He nurses a secrete romance for one of his beautiful colleagues. But nothing works out. It is a fast, crazy and competitive world around him. He doesn’t fit. Eventually, he contemplates on killing his co-workers. That way, he could just grab some attention!

One of the questions he asks us is, “why I did what I did… but what choice did you give me? How else could I have gotten your attention?” And when the TV reporters come to interview his neighbors, they say, “he was a quiet man!” The film is very psychological; the script is brilliant, with a slightly angering twist and ambiguous climax to it.

film review by M Noushad

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