Ever try to work as a go-between for two people that don’t speak the same language? (Rest of the world: “Erin, I think the word for which you’re searching is translator.”) Even better, when someone stupidly decides that two languages are close enough and dismisses the differences. Yeah… that never works well. In fact, it’s fodder for comedy. Bryce McManamy decided to write a take on what could possibly go wrong for that exact scenario. Here’s director Paul Griffith’s The Exchange.
Okay, our poor translator in this scenario is absolutely right: different dialects of Russian have such nuances that mark them as separate that it makes a complete like-for-like translation impossible. Yes, it winds up sounding weird, and something always gets lost. In this short film, I like that the performances are all strong and serious, yet the music playing throughout is light-hearted. No one wants to listen to the poor translator who is absolutely right, and true to comedic form, he not only survives, but gets to walk away with the goods in all of this. Coupled with a very limited stage, and it’s simplicity at its best. Kudos to everyone involved – it was such a light-hearted break from the rest of the world this week. Sometimes, we need to be validated and win in the end.