The Interpreter


Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"

The Interpreter


Earth has not anything to show more fair than Nicole Kidman playing a UN interpreter, speaking in the imaginary African tribal language of "Ku"! Made up especially for this film! Nicole speaks Ku like a native. She has completely got the hang of Ku. Nicole swims like a dolphin in the deep grammar of Ku. And her pronunciation is frankly top drawer. It's a joy to see her standing there in that UN building, in the cool severe outfit and brainy specs (abandoned, according to Hollywood tradition, after the first few establishing scenes) fluently translating the sinister demands of Ku-speaking potentates from the imaginary African republic of Matobo - for the benefit of America's frowningly sceptical representatives.

For most of the time, however, this convoluted New York thriller from veteran director Sydney Pollack is in English. Or at least I think so. The way Kidman and her co-star Sean Penn are speaking the dialogue - Nicole in a sort of Afrikaaner Lite - makes me think that the original script was in fact written entirely in Ku, and rendered into English using a Google translation programme. Maybe Pollack gave direction to them in Ku, or perhaps in one of its variant dialect forms: Kor or Kripes.
Anyway, Nicole plays Silvia, a gorgeous, willowy blonde translator at the United Nations, whose mastery of Ku gets her into piping hot water. Popping back into her translation booth one night after a day's interpreting to fetch her flute - Ku! flute! does she cook too? - Silvia hears from the earphones of a discarded headset the unmistakable sound of people muttering in Ku. Curious, she jams on the cans and listens, horrified, to a couple of shady characters discussing an assassination plot, apparently speaking somewhere on the darkened debating floor. And this plot is directed against the president of Matobo, the genocidal excesses in whose fictional country are boldly deplored by the movie's good guys. The president faces a war-crimes tribunal at the Hague, an arraignment he seeks to pre-empt by coming to speak at the UN - in Ku? In English? In a pidgin jargon of Kuglish? Who knows?
So Nicole could be in danger, and needs protection from secret service agents Sean Penn and his mostly mute partner Catherine Keener. Nicole solemnly declares to Sean that she "believes" in the UN. "You musta had a tough year," wisecracks Sean, but tactfully refrains from canvassing her opinion on proposed US ambassador John Bolton. He immediately susses that something is not quite cool with what Nicole is telling everyone. Turns out that her family suffered grievously at the hands of this dictator back in Matobo - so wouldn't that put her on the side of the assassins? Is there some elaborate double-bluff misdirection going on?
I need hardly say that Sean and Nicole have a very, very tense protector-protectee relationship. Nicole wistfully remembers a poignant old Matobo saying to the effect that they are "on opposite sides of the river". Their loopy script and berk performances are in fact on the opposite side of the river from anything resembling life as it lived here on Planet Earth, and the movie's blithe condescension towards Africa is breathtaking. Sean Penn's character is supposed to be a widower. His wife ("a dancer") had ran off with another dancer, but the guy managed to crash the car they were in. "Great dancer. Terrible driver," says Sean, his anguished narrowing of crow's feet denoting how sick he's feeling on the inside. That line would be enough to have the screenwriters summoned before the Hague and given 99 years each. As for poor Nicole, speaking like PW Botha in a blonde wig is not a good image for her. Her character does not become any more plausible, or indeed any more interesting, with the film's tangled and silly contrivances , including the detonation of a bus which causes poor Nicole a couple of nasty looking cuts and grazes.
Things aren't helped by that venerable old UN building itself. It's a novelty to have a film shot inside, of course, but with its shallow flights of stairs and flags of all nations, it looks worthy and dull. Nicole and Sean look like they're there to shepherd a party of schoolchildren around the Commonwealth Institute. Occasionally, Pollack drags the action out to Nicole and Sean's various apartments; boho Nicole has a selection of African masks and a poster for the Edinburgh festival; Sean has a large and well-stocked drinks cabinet which he glumly depletes - awfully cut up about his late wife, you see.
The rest of the time, Pollack pedantically 'copters us over the Big Apple itself and is absolutely addicted to the biggest NY cliche of all: the direct overhead shot of the tall buildings, with their aircon units on the roof, all doggedly grinding away. All Pollack can come up with is desperately well-intentioned hooey, made even more bizarre by the pop-eyed solemnity of the acting and its sheer, baffling unexcitingness. What's Ku for "Is there something else on?"


arraignment- postawienie w stan oskarżenia
baffle- wprawić w zakłopotanie, zmieszać
berk- głupiec
blithe- niezobowiązujący, luźny
canvass- werbować, namawiać
condescension- protekcjonizm
contrivance- sztuczka, pomysł, sposób na coś
convoluted- zawiły, skomplikowany
deplete- uszczuplać, wyczerpywać
discard- pozbywać się, wyrzucać
doggedly- zawzięcie, uparcie
frowningly- z niesmakiem, z deaprobatą; gniewnie
genocidal- ludobójczy
glumly- pochmurnie, ponuro
grind away- harowac
loopy- rąbnięty, wariat
pidgin- język mieszany
poignant- dotkliwy, dojmujący
render into- przekładać (na inny język)
shady- podejrzany
sinister- złowieszczy, złowrogi
summon- wzywać, zwoływać
suss- odkrywać, rozpoznawać
top drawer- najlepszej jakości
venerable- czcigodny, zasłużony, wybitny
willowy- gibki, smukły
wisecrack- cięta uwaga, docinek

Nie masz uprawnień do komentowania

Czytelnia - treści losowe

Polub nas na FB

Wyszukiwarka

Subskrybcje

Zapisz się do subskrypcji aby codziennie otrzymywać wiadomości i uczyć się słowek
captcha 

Zaloguj się lub zarejestruj aby skorzystać ze wszystkich funkcji portalu.

Reklama

Loading ...

Ta strona wykorzystuje pliki cookie.

Polityka cookie OK