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Bring an interpreter

Kimberly NicolettiSummit County Correspondent

If you’re not paying close attention to “The Interpreter,” you might need an interpreter of your own.I thought I might be the only one who thoroughly enjoyed the movie, yet felt she missed something – until my parents and Dan started asking me questions to fill in the blanks.Dan questioned me about the motives of the interpreter, Silvia Broome (Nicole Kidman). My parents asked me what happened in the end. I had my own questions. I can’t answer any of these in this review without giving too much away, but I can say, “Pay close attention,” especially when things flash through the mind of Tobin Keller (Sean Penn).”The Interpreter” relies on solid acting, intriguing dialogue (snippets such as “vengeance is a lazy form of grief”) and a sensible plot to build suspense.Although the story uses fictional characters and a fictional country, the story bases one of its main characters, African dictator Zuwanie (Earl Cameron), on Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, who fell from being an adored liberator to a tyrant who uses starvation to control politics. The parallel, as well as the fact that much of “The Interpreter” takes place in the U.N. Headquarters (it’s the first film shot there), gives the movie a realistic feel; it doesn’t rely on masked men, machine guns and bombs to pump up adrenaline – the story does enough on its own.Silvia works as a translator for the United Nations. When she tells Secret Service agent Keller she suspects an assassination attempt on Zuwanie, Keller begins digging into her past. She has reason to dislike Zuwanie, as she grew up in his country and watched him transform from an idealist to a dictator who allows genocide. Because Zuwanie is coming to the United Nations Headquarters to defend his policies, Keller has to decide whether to believe Silvia and act to prevent a possible assassination. Meanwhile, her life seems to be in danger.Beyond the suspenseful political plot, rich characterizations develop. After the initial set-up, we learn about Silvia’s hidden past, and we feel for Keller, who carries emotional pain of his own. The two contrast and complement each other in a compelling way.”The Interpreter” is a film you might want to see more than once because it translates into a finely crafted movie with plenty of nuances. And a couple of leftover questions.


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