Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Lost in Translation


While they say great films can truly transcend language, how do films cross this barrier when language is part of the deal?

I’m thinking of this as I scan reviews for The Fighter released in India last week. I see a lot of Indian reviews dismiss it as another middling-to-good ‘boxing’ film. While I still haven’t seen it, I think that the most interesting thing about it is not the story but the performances (of course, 2 Oscars went to the supporting cast) and the portrayal of the boxer’s family from a working class neighborhood in Lowell, Massachusetts.

What of their accents? Does the portrayal of the matriarch and the family ring true? Are these nuances lost on an Indian audience, or more precisely, on Indian reviewers?

A sense of rootedness places films in context and can enhance your viewing experience. For instance, I can’t think of Omkara without the rustic dialog, or Raging Bull without Robert De Niro’s very New York twang. How much context do we lose while watching foreign films because we may have no way of having it?

1 comment:

coeus said...

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