Editorial | No Need for Dialogue

If anyone tells you that France is lovely in the summer, you can tell them that… well, yes, it’s technically LOVELY, but it’s really really hot.  At least, that was my experience at the beginning of July.  Lyon, France was about thirty eight degrees Celsius (that’s over 100 degrees Farenheit for Americans), and I was drinking at least sixteen cups (that’s 128 oz.) each day without ever needing a trip to the water closet because I was expelling it in its entirety through my pores.

At this point in our trip, the heat and the constant travel had Teresa and I exhausted, and we decided to find an activity that included air conditioning—something that seems to be at a premium in European hostels.  Something cool, potentially sun-free, during the hottest part of the day… obviously, we were headed to see something in a French cinema.  Jurassic World had just opened there, and Teresa speaks fluent French.  Besides, most American films dubbed in French have English subtitles, right?JURASSIC-WORLD-Affiche-France-Claire-D-Rex

Well, maybe most dubbed American films have subtitles, but Jurassic World did not.  However, it really didn’t make a difference in my enjoyment of the movie.  I speak Spanish, and I took a year of French in high school, so between my experience with romance languages and the plethora of English cognates in French, I could piece together the incredibly simplistic and juvenile dialogue of Jurassic World.  One of my favorite lines was delivered by Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio)—so obvious that no translation was needed, as he aggressively postured, and slammed the truck door shut on the raptors he intended to sell (inexplicably) to the US military, “Ça va arriver. Avec vous, ou sans vous.” [It will happen.  With you, or without you.]  Teresa and I glanced at each other and burst into giggles.

Not being able to understand the language of the film—and honestly not really caring—gave me way more time and opportunity to focus on other aspects.  The CGI of the film was really beautiful, in fact, I appreciated it almost as much as I enjoyed Chris Pratt aimlessly fiddling with a motorcycle.  That glorious hunk of man flipping a ratchet round and round with little affect, or wiping perfectly clean hands on an oily rag made absolutely no sense, and that didn’t bother me at all.

Another fun thing to watch was Bryce Dallas Howard running significant distances at significant speeds in significantly high heels.  I’m curious to know whether she is actually some superhuman/goddess or if there was wirework involved.  I consider myself deadly with the stiletto (heel—not the knife), but even I would have shaking calves after just one of those dashes through chaos, much less so many of them.

It was very clear from the occasional recognizable word or phrase, and the action on screen exactly what the plot of the movie was.  There was no depth of character development to distract the viewer from Howard’s beautifully lined lips or Pratt’s delectable… everything.  And I’m pretty sure that is exactly how the movie creators wanted it.  No dialogue necessary.

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Have you ever watched a movie on silent or in a language that you don’t understand?  Is there a movie that you WANT to watch on silent or in another language?  I’m pretty sure that the Transformers movies, or the later Pirates of the Caribbean movies probably fall in that category as well. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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Filed under Editorial, Movies, Tracy Gronewold

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