2020 French Film Festival (all over Australia until Aug 4)
Palace Nova Adelaide and Prospect
Review By Sarah List
Billed as a thriller, The Translators opens on a flaming bookstore and for a moment you wonder how might a story about books equal suspense? This is a story about the final book in a supernovel trilogy named Daedalus, written by a reclusive, secretive author that has captured the imagination of the public and sold hundreds of millions of copies of the earlier works. The Angstrom publishing house has grown from a tiny operation to a behemoth on the back of the previous novels, and the plan is to translate the book into the best-selling languages simultaneously so that the market can be completely captured on release and make a fortune while crushing unauthorized translations that usually flood the markets. A group a translators are locked in a luxurious bunker and tasked to translate 100 pages per day in small batches over three months, without access to the internet or the outside world. with Sound far fetched? This actually happened in 2013 for the Dan Brown novel Inferno (the Angels and Demons series) and inspired the development of this particular script. Where fiction deviates from reality, in the big screen version there’s a hitch – someone has stolen the script despite the apocalyptic style lockdown, and is threatening to release chunks of text if ransom demands are not met. But surely a group of literary types could not be responsible? Certainly the visible unhinging of the publishing CEO Eric Angstrom (a perfectly cast Lambert Wilson, who Matrix fans will spot as the conniving Merovingian from Reloaded) suggests that his desperation to ensure the financial success of Daedalus III could lead in violent directions against the translators.
Will the script be released? Will the perpetrator be discovered? I won’t spoil the ending by sharing too much. Sharing much with thrillers such as the Usual Suspects, The Translators takes a while to build in the first third of the film, but gains momentum at a cracking pace from there on in.
A highly enjoyable whodunnit. Leave that annoying mate who spends the whole movie trying to guess what happens next at home.