Movie review

Lost In Translation
Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson,
Giovianni Ribisi, Anna Faris

Director : Sofia Coppola

Under The Tuscan SunLost in Translation is the story of two Americans in Tokyo, who are drawn to one another through their shared loneliness, confusion, and insomnia. Sofia Coppola's film beautifully portrays the tension and yearning that can exist between two people who find themselves caught between a friendship and a romance.

Bill Murray plays Bob Harris, a fading Hollywood actor who's in Tokyo filming a whiskey commercial. His career has waned and so has his motivation to work on his marriage and the relationship with his child. Bill Murray, mostly known for comedy, certainly surprises and impresses with his performance. He is at his best in this film. His strength as an actor lies in his ability to express sadness and humour with just one look.
    The up-and-coming actress Scarlett Johansson plays Charlotte, a young woman who ends up in Tokyo because her photographer husband is on assignment. She is completely lost amongst the neon lights and skyscrapers of Tokyo, and realises that between college and marriage, she's dedicated little time to discovering herself and her dreams.
    Together, Murray and Johansson tell us more through their glances and silences than through their words and actions. Much like an overseas telephone call or a conversation in desperate need of a translator, the characters' feelings seem to reach one another on a five-second delay. It is this that adds to the humour and the sadness of the entire film.

The funniest parts of Lost In Translation take place when the characters, along with the viewer, find themselves 'lost' together. We don't get subtitles where it counts. And when Bob Harris does get a translation from the only English-speaking Japanese in the group, he is certain he has missed something. One instance of this takes place while Bob is filming the commercial. During the shoot, the director continues to call, "Cut!" When Bob asks what the problem is, a minute-long ranting ensues. The translation Bob receives, however, is but a two or four-word answer, such as "look at the camera," or "more passion," leaving us all 'lost in translation'.

Throughout the film, we get fantastic panoramic scenes of Tokyo, while the characters discover the vast differences between the Japanese and American cultures in sometimes shocking ways. At some point we have all felt isolated due to a clash in language or in culture, but in this film, we seem to enjoy being lost for a while, simply because we realise we are not alone.

:: Adela Brito

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