Cronauer: She spills soup all over you, looks at you like, "Eh, I'm sorry. What are you gonna do about it, asshole?" What would you say to her? They spilled something on your pants. What would you do?
Wilkie: I do nothing.
Cronauer: Come on Wilkie, it's cursing class. You're gettin' pissed off. What would you do?
Wilkie: I just remain reticent.
Cronauer: She goes in the kitchen, she gets a knife, she starts stabbing you. She's stabbing you, putting forks in you. She's got spoons in your eyes, Wil! They're startin' to cut you with knives, puttin' spoons in your eyes. What would you do Wilkie? What would you do?
Wilkie: I'm waiting to die.
Just now watching “Good Morning Vietnam” haven’t had time to structure anything but wanted to capture the moment above. I’m just really moved every time I see this scene. Googled it and a few explain it as a meeting/clash of Western and Buddhist cultures.
I find it moving as part of the film’s description of the continually shifting relationship between host and partner/invader/abuser/friend/judge etc. Seen in this context, the character Wilkie is a human representation of the powerless state being crushed by yet another unholy relationship with a Western power…
Of course in the end, the little country didn’t get crushed. or did it? Didn’t want to drift into politics as I really have absolutely no idea if Vietnam is better or worse off for its 20th century history…
Either way, every time I see that scene it catches me by surprise and I get a little shiver. Great pacing and direction from Barry Levinson:-)