Sunday, December 11, 2011
Movie Review: Lost In Translation (2003)
An unexpected encounter that verges on a possible romance in a foreign land, Lost In Translation is a delightful and melancholy story of a potential love that could have blossomed under different circumstances, or that may have never happened except in the most unusual of surroundings. Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson are unforgettable as the travellers who cross paths, and pause to jointly explore a certain dead-end.
Also in Tokyo and staying at the same hotel is a young American couple, Charlotte (Johansson) and John (Giovanni Ribisi). He's a photographer on assignment shooting local music bands; she's suffering through all the warning signs of a wife emotionally and physically abandoned. When John bumps into an airhead starlet (Anna Faris) at the hotel, he never even bothers to introduce Charlotte.
The two main characters of Lost In Translation are rudderless ships floating in a strange ocean, passing very close to each other, but coming from different directions and heading to unknown destinations. Sofia Coppola writes and directs a most poignant and beautifully photographed film, a heartache encounter between two deeply dissatisfied souls who find fleeting happiness in the unlikeliest of surroundings. Both Bob and Charlotte know that their their lives are in utterly different trajectories, and their relationship has nowhere to go; yet they offer each other an irresistible glimpse of nutritious light in an otherwise gloomy, sleep-derived reality.
Johansson is stunningly deglamourized, her Charlotte a woman staring at the sudden realization that her marriage offers nothing to fill her soul, her self-obsessed husband far from understanding even the basics of what the relationship requires.
Lost In Translation ends with a memorably brave piece of film making, Bob's final words to Charlotte audible only as far as it matters, her reaction a devastatingly beautiful moment of realization that while her future is uncertain, she will always have Tokyo, and life does offer up searing happiness under the most improbable of circumstances.
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