In his last few outings before his death in 2008, Sydney Pollack has made an abundance of average films. In 2005, three years before his death, Pollack closes up his directing career with a gripping suspenseful eye-opener of movie titled "The Interpreter". The movie itself is saturated with scintillating performances, the characters are sublime and the never once does the viewer's intelligence never gets insulted. The story has a feeling like a modern-day Alfred Hitchcock feeling to it as the suspense will likely keep you intrigued. This is the swan song in Pollack's final directorial project that couldn't have come at a better time.
The story kicks off as United Nations African interpreter Silvia Broome (Nicole Kidman) was gathering personal apparatuses when she overhears a plot to have her country's president assassinated in which involves a visit from an African dignitary. Fearing her life is in danger, Silvia calls up F.B.I. Secret Service Agent Tobin Keller (Sean Penn), who has immediate suspicions about her, but softens up to her knowing there's more to the story than what she's telling him. Fearing her life is in peril, while not telling Keller all the details, Silvia is now in whirlpool of trouble as the dignitary is coming to her neck of the woods in a matter of days.
Though aging and not in the best of health at the time, we wondered if Pollack still had in him. The man brought us "Out of Africa" has made come back to the thriller genre which stapled his career to exceptional fame with films like "Three Days of the Condor" and "The Firm". As the years gone by, Pollack's directed has fizzled with mindless drivel like "Random Hearts". But not here in "The Interpreter", he sails away nicely with an exciting thriller that will likely keep you on your toes.
In the world of movies where the young is dominant, this 71-year old utilizes his dedication and his audiences respect and his clever pacing while refraining from spoon-feeding every detail that comes onto screen. This is a great way to show that for a thriller it's neither mindless drivel or a half-baked effort even if it won't garner any Oscars. Even though the thrills are the key component to this film, "The Interpreter" has a well developed characters that sort of grow onto you as the film progresses. Pollack has good timing when it comes down to boiling points as to when the plot thickens and the suspense level gets more under your skin. This results in the performers to actually get a better enhancement on the characters they're portraying making them all the more crowd pleasing rather than predictable and one-dimensional. This is truly one of Pollack's best directing projects in a long time where suspense, pathos, and perpetual unsettling the whole way through.
The most important scenes that deserves the utmost attention comes from the scenes emanating from the bus. Without giving away spoilers, the ingredients to an outstanding thriller we have an interpreter who heard too much, distressed politicians, overwhelmed F.B.I. agents, and top that all off with explosives in a tight moving surface. These set pieces are what makes this movie all the more special. This scene alone is worth the price of admission.
As Silvia, Kidman has proved she's one of the best performers in the industry today, even in non-Oscar caliber films. Her vast versatility speaks volumes with her movie-star hair even down to the African accent, we get lost in her role she plays as we question what allegiance she truly represents and we begin to trivialize whether her innocence is coincidental or if there's more than meets the eye. Kidman keeps the mysterious level in her character throughout and never lets it go and continually gives Penn's character more in doubt of what she really stands out for. Penn has a more difficult job at hand and his expressions speak louder than what it seems. This gives Penn more of a good excuse to get more inquisitive with Silvia and to find newer hooks to further enhance his character's drive. With the assistance of a wonderful script by Martin Stellman and Brian Ward, Penn and Kidman could still turn an average film into something provocative and through the direction of Pollack, this mediocre thriller has enough spark to keep the thriller aficionado enlightened but never insulted.
With the remarkable cinematography under Darius Khondji, "The Interpreter" is pure eye candy along with all the other parts of the anatomy that will have you tingling with excitement. It's nice to see Pollack back in his thrilling force. Though in the last years in life he did production, this movie was truly his last moment to shine and couldn't have come at a better time. A big salute to a career for the director Sydney Pollack.
Action / Crime / Mystery / Thriller
Action / Crime / Mystery / Thriller
Escalating events begin when U.N. interpreter Silvia Broome alleges that she has overheard a death threat against an African head of state, spoken in a rare dialect few people other than Silvia can understand. With the words "The Teacher will never leave this room alive," in an instant, Silvia's life is turned upside down as she becomes a hunted target of the killers. Placed under the protection of federal agent Tobin Keller, Silvia's world only grows more nightmarish. As Keller digs deeper into his eyewitnesses' past and her secretive world of global connections, the more suspicious he becomes that she herself might be involved in the conspiracy. With every step of the way, he finds more reasons to mistrust her. Is Sylvia a victim? A suspect? Or something else entirely? And can Tobin, coping with his own personal heartache, keep her safe? Though they must depend on one another, Silvia and Tobin couldn't be more different. Silvia's strengths are words, diplomacy and the subtleties of ...
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August 16, 2011 at 11:07 PM