If you ever wanted to see Tokyo through truly depressed eyes, then this
is the film for you. Mind you, this is not a love story, no matter what
people try to tell you. Lost in Translation
is a story of two people as they try to run away from the reality of
their lives. One is an aging commercial media star, seemingly
recognized by everybody on the street, with a demanding and completely
detached wife. The other is a young newly wed wife of a photographer on
assignment, who is likewise completely detached from her husband. Both
are begging for some kind of new beginning to their tire lives, and
they each find solace in each other’s depressed company. Their
loneliness is the underscore of the entire film.
The film is
overwhelmed by large expansive scenes to assist the audience into
feeling the disassociation between the city and our two main
characters. Although effective in its tone, it led to many long and
tedious shots of cold unwelcoming Tokyo. Sofia Coppola
perhaps by direction of an artist vision, forgot the basics of story
telling, and that was to keep the audience involved in the motion of
the story. There were times when the plot lagged behind panning vistas
of the city in what was meant to portray ones disconnect from humanity,
but it only made the movie longer. Granted, the skillful application of
such technique is useful, but its overuse is evident in Coppola’s
inexperience as a director.
As stated earlier, this is not a love
story. It is a story of two desperate people finding each other, and in
this company, they find comfort not love. Even through desperation,
this movie is devoid of passion. Bill Murray as Bob Harris is tremendous. His wisdom and ability are an asset to the film, as are the acting talents of Scarlett Johansson. Although ably delivered, it lacks the power and the passion in Leaving Las Vegas, a similar story of desperation and love. Where as Leaving Las Vegas drags the audience into the depression of the actors, Lost in Translation
only forces the audience away through overly drawn out camera work.
only reason this movie is not getting my worse rating is because of the
acting abilities of both Murray and Johansson. I found many of the
scenes throughout the movie to be highly offensive and totally racist.
There is an undertone of hatred for the Japanese culture that is shown
at every opportunity. Oh, and if you want to know what Murray whispered
into Johansson’s ear at the end of the film, you won’t get a clear
answer. Coppola stated that, “it’s between lovers,” and can be seen as
the metaphor for the entire movie. The muttered whisper only begs you
to wonder if Johansson’s character fully understood what he said, or if
his statement was only yet another sentence, “Lost in Translation”. The
scene would have been better delivered if the words weren’t spoken at
all. The mumbling only disorients the audience from the most passion
blazed part of the film.