Lost In Translation

The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.

Review by Lewis Goodall

I just looked up why some other people thought of this film out of curiosity. Most people are scoring it highly which Is where I’m gonna go with it but I’ll get to that. One review stood out to me because it was a 1/10 so naturally I want to see what they’re ranting about. The start of the review is this and I quote “I should preface this review by saying that my husband and I both have advance degrees and we see 50+ independent films a year”. Apparently if you’re smart you wont enjoy this film so if you have a degree you might as well leave now, everyone else who is thick like me should stick with it because this film is incredible

Lost In Translation, written and directed by Sofia Coppola, shows the story of two insomniacs as the build a relationship in the late hours of Tokyo. Bob Harris (Bill Murray), a washed up movie star is in Tokyo for business, shooting a commercial for a Japanese whiskey. Also there is Charlotte (Scarlett Johannesburg, as my mum accidentally called her), who is in Tokyo with her husband who is there as a photographer. Both of them help each other to make the sleepiness nights more bearable.

Now unlike the woman in that review, this film is definitely not a waste of time or money, its in fact quite the opposite. Both protagonists shine through the night setting throughout the film. In terms of performances I could not fault either Bill or Scarlett as they both brought so much character to each of their…. characters. This film is laced with a few moments of comedy genius from Bill Murray but to be honest would you expect anything else? A couple of moments really ruptured the funny guts inside of me which I feel is a credit to both the script and just in general Bill Murrays style. Scarlett Johanson brings the perfect girl next door vibe which would attract any middle aged man. Both work together to perfectly show a connection of forbidden love for one another that I feel many people would connect with on some level.

Not a lot happens in the film. Its certainly a plodder in terms of story but It spends more time just developing the relationship between the two. Not much happening isn’t really a big deal when the film is shot so nicely, I’d happily just watch a shot of Scarlett Johansson walking through a busy Tokyo street for 90 minutes with the right cinematography behind it. Matched with a cracking score this film is definitely a nice easy one to enjoy. Pacing and just everything about this film was fantastic, I still cant get the scene of Bill Murray in the gym out my head because that scene was comedy gold, but also there was a scene of both the two of them and some other friends singing karaoke and the whole scene is just so captivating to watch. Seeing both of them comedically sing their songs but at the same time stare deeply at each other was a feeling that you don’t get too much of in cinema.

My only sort of flat moment I felt was the end. Now obviously I’m not going to spoil the fact that Godzilla turns up at the end but I felt as though the end didn’t pack as much punch as I’d hoped. At the same time I feel like it was the best ending that it could’ve been without it being a piece of typical Hollywood cheese writing. Actually I’m going to have a spoiler section because I want to talk about it.

Overall this is a love story that will definitely stick to you like fly paper, but fly paper that you love having stuck to you, if that’s a metaphor you can relate to. It’s a slow burner but with the focus on this pairs relationship and watching it grow. The fact that its Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson should sell this film already but honestly it is a fantastic experience that I’m sure many people would relate to, but what do I know, i don’t have an advanced degree.

8.5 Lipped Suspenders out of 10

Spoilers

So as the story progresses, obviously so does the relationship between Bob and Charlotte. Both of them being in separate marriages it is very apparent that this is a forbidden bond that they have. The film ends with Bob having to leave the country for work. Neither of them want to leave each other but at the same time it is the right thing to do. They closely both love each other but it’s a case of if it happened in a different life then it would work. They say their farewells and they go their separate ways and it ends. The typical Hollywood ending would have had then leave their partners and live together forever but it doesn’t, it opts for the realistic ending which although flat, made way more sense and worked better for the story. The feeling of leaving each other wishing they had more is the same feeling the viewer gets, you’re watching it wishing for more but unfortunately it just doesn’t work that way which is boooo but I understand.

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