Thursday, February 6, 2014
Lost in Translation (2003)
Today's film is Lost in Translation. It's an realistic, honest look at two lonely people in a crowded, strange city. Bill Murray is Bob Harris, a faded movie star reduced to making whisky commercials. The impossibly beautiful Scarlett Johannson is Charlotte, a young woman accompanying her photographer husband to Japan on business. She is a recent graduate who majored in philosophy, which explains why she doesn't have a job.
Bob is bored in his 25-year-old marriage. Instead of love notes, his wife sends him passive aggressive notes and carpet samples. Charlotte is bored in her new marriage. Her husband, John, would rather work than spend any time with her. Through their loneliness, combined with being in a strange city, Bob and Charlotte form an unlikely bond. They tour the city, party, do karaoke, and generally have a good time.
Yes, they do kiss, but it never goes any further than that. Their connection is a spiritual one, not a physical one. At the end, Bob has to leave, and he is sad to go. When he whispers to Charlotte, I turned my computer Way up, and this is what he says: "The next time you see John, you tell him the truth, okay?"
I like this movie because it feels realistic and yet engages me at all times. Also, there's no reason why men and women can't just be friends. It could have easily fallen into the trap of romantic comedies and it didn't. I will give it an 8/10.