Sunday, November 25, 2012

Deja Vu

I have a weird feeling that I've seen The Interpreter (2005) before. It starts with a scene in Africa. Three white men drive to an abandoned stadium. Right there, I said to myself: "I've seen this. Or have I?" At this point, I was thinking that the stadium was used in some other movie - probably in the Bourne franchise.

But as it played out, I recognized more and more. The basic idea is that Nicole Kidman, an interpreter for the UN, overhears a plot to kill an African leader. Recently widowed police detective Sean Penn is on the case. I didn't recognize most of the twists and turns of the plot, but kept running into material I thought I knew.

This might mean that it is just a predictable type thriller - and I suppose it is. It's directed by Sydney Pollack, who I always considered to be a bit square. I don't think I've seen any of his movies, even (especially) Tootsie. Checking IMDB ... wait, I've seen The Way We Were. Yes, he's a square.

But definitely a craftsman. This movie has a lovely look, especially the grand scenes shot on location inside the UN. Nicole Kidman is great in the title role, playing it very tight and close to the vest, slowly revealing depths within depths. She also just plain looks (and films) beautiful. Sean Penn, on the other hand, hams it up in a much more obvious role, but I guess they need that as a foil to her.

I can't say the plot was predictable, but there was something not-so-fresh about how it unfolds - not the twists and turns themselves, but how they are revealed. Or maybe it's just that I've seen the movie before and forgot it. In which case, my thesis should be that the movie is forgettable, a throw-away.

Maybe it's both, but it was a pleasant throw-away. I did enjoy it. I must remember not to watch it again.

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