Lost in Translation

lost in translationHave you ever looked at your own picture and not recognized yourself? Or spent only a few days with someone but knew that they would have an effect on the rest of your life? In the new film by Sofia Coppola, "Lost In Translation," the characters, no matter how seemingly different they may be, go through everyday feelings of longing, confusion and affection.

The viewer will be taken aback by the new, forlorn side of Bill Murray, so drastically different from his early days on Saturday Night Live or my favorite, the Ghostbusters movies, but occasionally his trademark sarcasm makes an appearance. The character of Bob Harris, an actor in the middle of a midlife crisis, is made for him.

Bob is in Japan making whiskey advertisements. Whether talking on the phone with his distant wife, or running along the bright streets of Tokyo, along side Charlotte, ("Ghost World's" Scarlett Johansson), Murray is brilliantly dull and at the same time fascinating. The only thing better then watching Murray is watching co-star Scarlett Johansson.

lost in translationJohansson is spectacular as Charlotte. As the wife of a photographer who is always busy at work, Charlotte needs something to do. When she and Bob Harris meet, the two make a strange yet perfect pair.

The characters in the movie bring the audience on a trip lit by the neon lights of Tokyo and propelled by the fascination of a new face, a new city and a newfound view of life. Viewers will really care about the characters and get to know them by the end of the movie. Though some people (for example, my dad) may complain that it starts out too slow, I found it perfect. It is realistic yet completely unlike anything you might expect.

One of the most interesting things about Sofia Coppola is her unique way of capturing how eerie and sad life is. The shots of Johansson sitting alone in her hotel room listening to self-help tapes or fading away in the crowded Tokyo streets, and the scenes of Murray drinking alone in the bar, give off a feeling that they don't know themselves any better then you do. As with her last film, The Virgin Suicides, some of the most striking scenes in the movie are stripped bare. No sound, no words, just silent images of the characters' isolated lives.

Even though I spent $10.00 on the ticket, which is a lot of money for someone with my limited bank account, it was completely worth it. As my friend said, it's the second best Bill Murray film ever…"Who you gonna call, Ghostbusters!"

Darla Walters Gary is a WireTap staff writer. She lives in Oakland, California and is a senior at Far West High School.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.