"The Interpreter" Analysis

Essay by override06High School, 12th grade April 2007

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When I went to see “The Interpreter”, I wasn’t expecting much of it but in fact, it is a well made film, a blend of genres: intrigue, thriller, romance, drama, redemption, and that was a surprise to me. Especially because of the reviews written by some critics who said that the director, Sidney Pollack tried to accomplish too much. Thus might have caused the movie to flop.

For my part, I was not a great fan of Nicole Kidman, or Sean Penn in the past. I was pleased to find them extremely likable actors who delivered amazing performances in this movie. Each of them showed a very touching degree of vulnerability. For the first time, in my opinion, both of them showed their hearts to us, making them immensely attractive and appealing. The critics did not share my point of view. For their part, the plot of this movie was very predictable and on the relationship level, both Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn are good actors but the critics did not seem to believe in the connection between them.

I quote, ”at a crucial point when he decided to reveal something personal about himself which is suppose to improve the connection, I didn’t believe that it didn’t seemed plausible to me that they would do that”. I suspect that most of the negative reviews I'd heard came from critics who are not willing to pay attention to dialogue, instead of waiting for stuff to blow up.

If you have seen the trailer, the plot of the movie is probably known to you by now. But the plot is not the important point. Sure, there are many components to the political thriller genre, and the international, third-world intrigue thing as well. Again, the political message of the movie was not well accepted by everyone because they said that this message could have been dealt with in a better way. It was said to be a stereotypical way, “Political message I thought was gauche, clumsy, banal at times, one-liners which you know the politics of my skin” But even to those critics, these components are mastered with such perfection in the film that they contribute to revealing the real story here: the humanity and interaction, and just maybe the eventual redemption, of the two main characters, played by Penn and Kidman. It was nice to see the evolution of the relationship between our heroine and the troubled Secret Service agent who's assigned to protect her. They are first cold towards each other then they fall into a tender friendship without actually tumbling into bed together. Even there, the critics said that they fall in love too quickly, I quote ”not an indispensable part of the plot here”. They consider there should be more depth to this relationship .

I liked our heroine’s job and way of life, because after all, she makes her living by choosing her words carefully. She has several interesting lines about the meaning of words and the nuances of language; for example one of my favourites: "If I interpreted 'dead' as 'gone', I'd be out of a job. 'Dead' and 'gone' are two different things.". This shows how careful she has to be and how “words can damage and misinterpretation can cause a war”, like the critics said.

If people want to picture this movie, maybe it is accurate to say it has some similarities with "The Bourne Identity", except that "Bourne" was more violent and had some sexual parts which "The Interpreter" does not. But to say that "Bourne" was an intelligent version of its genre. "The Interpreter" is also extremely intelligent; and entertaining, deep, moving, and thoroughly and totally wonderful. I now have two 'new' actors to admire. If you're in the mood for an intelligent thriller concerned with political issues and not just a roller-coaster ride on a movie screen, “The Interpreter” is very much worth seeing. But after I saw the movie, I thought again about the different celebrities of this movie, and I wondered why they didn't cast native South African Charlize Theron as the main character.