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  • The Interpreter
    • The Interpreter
    • Runtime:127 min
    • Release Date:2014-10-22 02:19:16
    • Director: Sydney Pollack
    • Genres: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
    • Studio:
MOVIE REVIEW:The Interpreter
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*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For a rare time nowadays, this is an American movie that I loved
watching it, wanting to re-watch it again, and the reasons aren't
action sequences or laughable scenes !

It goes like this; a glossy thriller about a mystery, an unknown
killer, a hidden past, and a rescue on the nick of time, being the
first movie ever to be shot in the UN as well. A mature romantic tale
about a relationship develops from mutual non-acceptance to emotional
approximation between a man and a woman, both in grief, feeling
hopeless (which, uncommonly, doesn't end up in the bed by the way !).
And it's kind of a political message movie too about the guys who all
"begin as liberators and 20 minutes later they're as corrupt as the
tyrants they've overthrown.", and solving the nations' problems by
peace and understanding (the female lead's choice) not by violence and
assassination (The totalitarian president's choice). The movie achieves
high cleverness on all the levels. The enjoyment of it looks perfect. I
loved keeping up the balance between what's deep and commercial in the
same time. Well, dear Sydney Pollack sure left with a bang.

The script is one reason for why this movie seduced me that way. The
emotions of the characters are well-explored. Every line is meaty. And
despite the imaginary nation and symbols, the movie's case is so true
and its message is pretty blazing (No wonder that the movie was banned
in Zimbabwe!).

The 2 leads delivered what I won't call an Oscar worthy performance.
Because the Oscar isn't that lofty scale. And if you complained, ask
yourself how these performances weren't even nominated ?! (and others
did ?!!). The music was intense. The editing kept a sad poetic mood.
And Pollack just adored the UN's headquarters, showing it from many
aesthetical angles.

There are though some weak points. And most of them are related to the
script. For instance : how the UN hired someone without checking out
their history (especially while being a killer in their original
homeland ??!!). While there were proofs and links that could make that
secret service agent discover the real conspiracy and conspirators, how
in god's name he discovered where the female lead would be at the end
?? (Now this is a psychic's work !). The finale with the interpreter
reading the names of the murdered victims while declaring the end of
the regime which killed them was damn customary, let alone being "so
happy" ending as well; where America overthrows a tyrant without a
profitable war, and the UN actually contributes to carry out peace (Now
I began to figure out the deal that Director Sydney Pollack did with
Kofi Annan to get permission to film inside the UN !). Catherine
Keener's character was useless. And sorrowfully the notion of
"interpreting" the noble meaning into acts (the UN's mission) was
nearly lost.

But nothing can top the tragedy of casting Nicole Kidman as the title's
character. Don't get me wrong, she's a sensitive actress, and hell of a
beauty, let alone that this movie was done before she turns, by the end
of 2000s, into a freak out of too many *deforming* plastic surgeries or
too much botox. However, all the role's features indicate the color of
the one who must act it. I think it was a commercial deal in which they
found no bankable black actress to do the movie, so it was handed over
the too white Kidman to be the movie's main point of weakness. I
couldn't as a viewer become convinced of this character as white. And I
couldn't buy either any of the chatter about "The color of my skin. The
politics of my skin" ??! That seemed forced enough !

Although there is a reference to the hidden partnership between these
decayed regimes and the American government to execute conjoint
interests. But that was done slightly, showing the dirty American
partner as just one hireling how works single-handedly not according to
bigger party's agenda or simply for his country's undeclared sakes.
This is not a weak point; it's just a note that will somewhat bother me
in the second watching.

Still a super work. What's the number of the movies that have
highly-made, so serious and engaging dialog like the one in here? I
won't forget "Vengeance is a lazy form of grief", "People handle fear
in different ways, Mr. Keller. It turns some people into stand up
comedians.", "Despite all the flags flattering on 1st avenue there are
no nations anymore. Only companies." And most of all "Peace, security
and freedom are not finite commodities like land, oil or gold, which
one state can acquire at another's expense."

Very few Hollywood thrillers lately that could be more than a Hollywood
thriller. Here's one of them. It got a lot of beautiful factors to be
savored. Ahhh, finally a movie to watch, feel, think about, and enjoy
too.

P.S : There is a very common factor between most of the romances in the
Pollack's movies. But I won't tell you what it is. Just recall well :
(The Way We Were), (Random Hearts) and (The Interpreter) to find out
yourself!

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*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Definitely a worthwhile political suspense movie. Sydney Pollack gives
his usual polished first class direction. the script is good and the
acting even better. with so much mindless stuff out there films like
this are always a welcome refresher because they at least get you to
think about things. the state of African affairs, the United Nations
role as a non-violent peace-keeper,and our commitments to our political
beliefs.

very good entertainment for adults. it's sometimes nice to see a film
without transformer toys, a bunch of aliens or a black and white
narrative about good vs. evil, or a movie that isn't a remake or a
sequel. i don't always like having to depend on the foreign film market
for something intelligent, so it's nice to see a commercial blockbuster
that's about something.

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*** This review may contain spoilers ***

wish I had watched this when it came out. Made soon after we invaded
Iraq. Released in the same year Bush nominated someone (Bolton) to the
UN who had publicly stated his contempt for said institution. This film
not only tried to answer why the UN is important, why diplomacy is
important, and counter the message that Bush n Co. were putting out at
the time. If that wasn't enough it also tried to address some of the
ethnic cleansing, child warriors and dictatorial regimes in Africa.
Thats a lot to cover in a film while still trying to make an
interesting thriller. No, it doesn't always work. (The safe room scene)
There are some issues (for example is this is a commentary on Africa,
why does the movie revolve around 2 Caucasians in NY?) The ending is
probably too idealistic (but you know Americans want happy endings). In
all, I give it credit for being interesting, engaging and for covering
some very interesting topics. The discussions of revenge being lazy
grief was interesting. The glimpse of the inner workings of the UN were
fascinating. All in all well worth watching.

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