It has been six years since Sydney Pollack sat in a director’s chair and it is unfortunate that The Interpreter, while intriguing at times, can’t live up to some of his earlier work.
This politically charged film lays out its plot inside the walls of the United Nations and centers itself around a whisper heard by U.N. interpreter Silvia Broome (Kidman). When Broome mistakenly hears what sounds like an assassination plot she reports it to the authorities, but doesn’t quite realize how much trouble she is in.
Broome is soon put under the protection of federal agent Tobin Keller (Penn) and his team as they attempt to sniff out the assassin and his plot to kill an African leader.
It is no surprise that Kidman and Penn play up to their abilities as their performances are flawless, the problem with The Interpreter is not in its acting or even its directing, it simply is an intriguing story that falls flat in the end. A large build-up leads us to expect a climactic final sequence and we are ultimately left with a talky resolution and a lot of dialogue that should have been left on the cutting room floor.
For some reason the writers felt it was necessary to move from gunfire and explosions to book reading and conversations to solve the situation, while stuff like that may be encouraged as what to do in the real world, in movies it just doesn’t hold the viewer’s attention. Let’s all be thankful they didn’t toss in any side romance to muddy up the waters any more than they already were.
Overall, if this film looked intriguing to you based on its trailers then you won’t be completely dissatisfied with the picture, but that doesn’t mean you will come out praising it. The climax to the film comes far too soon, but I may only think that because the ending was such a downer.