A Film Review By The Mike
Rating:RATED R for Nudity
Starring: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson
Directed By: Sofia Coppola
There are many people in this life that have trouble fitting society’s expectations. They’re not rebels, and they don’t try to fight the system or even “stick it to the man.” They simply exist in their own way, trying to find anything or anyone that can make them content for a little while.
Lost in Translation is a film about two such people. They’re played by Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, and are represented as people who are looking for more in their lives. The term “lost souls” would seem a perfect cliché for them, if they weren’t so captivating in their plight.
Murray plays Bob Harris, a former film star now stuck in a rut. He’s in Japan under the guise of getting paid to advertise whiskey, but as we meet him me realize more and more that he’s simply trying to escape from his life in the wrong place. His opposite is Johansson’s Charlotte, a young wife of a MTV style photographer (Giovanni Ribisi) whom she seems distant from, especially when he’s dealing with a young “actress” named Kelly (Anna Farris of the Scary Movie films, in a role that must have been easy for her to pull off).
The two exchange a glance in an elevator, then in a bar, and soon are sharing their time with each other. They wander the streets of Tokyo finding fun in places that those they live with would never find fun. their escape brings them closer and closer, but it’s not the kind of closer and closer that movies usually show us.
A film like this needs to be emotional to work, and Sofia Coppola manages to achieve such emotion in her direction. The emotion is evident in the colors and settings in each shot, but the deeper emotion comes from our actors. Rarely have I seen two characters give so much by saying so little. Murray and Johansson give themselves to the camera with enough passion and vigor to make every shot they’re onscreen memorable.
These characters have such a bond that nothing else in the film matters. When the final scene comes around this bond that has been shared is one that any viewer can feel. And to those of us that feel the same way they do, it’s a moment that we can understand and love full-heartedly, like the rest of the film. For everyone that’s been down and out, Lost in Translation is a film to lovingly remind us that we’re not alone.