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Lost in Translation

Posted by admin on May 29, 2013


Bon Voyage. These two words are something everyone dreams of saying, because we’ve had a fascination of traveling. Even if we’re not quick to pack our clothes and leave, somewhere is a place we have all wanted to see. It is these dreams when we realize that pictures and even videos from the Internet are simply not enough to quench our thirst for these places. A trip to Mexico cannot compete with a virtual trip through someone’s YouTube vacation movie. I encourage anybody reading this to escape at the first chance to visit that far away land you desire.

I happen to love the idea of visiting another country. Though through out my journeys, I’ve faced the sudden spring of culture shock. Despite thinking that the expanded knowledge on the Internet would have provided a comforting reminder before, I think that only makes culture shock more unsuspecting in these times. I’ve mentioned about my study abroad trip to Rome, but what I didn’t see before was the abrupt feeling out of place. I’ll admit that for at least the first couple of days, I kept thinking that this was a bad idea. I knew that there was no going home; I had to find a way to make quality with my new friends and home. If you want a great movie about the reality of culture shock, then you need to see Lost in Translation.

Within the land of the rising sun, our story of travel takes place in Tokyo, Japan. Aging American movie star Bob Harris (played by Bill Murray) is going through a midlife crisis while he is in the country to do a commercial for Suntory Whisky. He clearly would rather be back in the States doing a play or something that would put his acting skills to better use. With the onslaught of a confusing language and jet lag, he is clearly out of his comfort zone.

Also in the hotel is a young college graduate named Charlotte (played by Scarlett Johansson). She is visiting and exploring the city while her husband is working as a celebrity photographer. Though they seem to love each other, he does no understand the uneasiness she feels. When Charlotte bumps into Bob, they begin to connect over their feelings of being stuck in the middle of their lives. They spend a lot of their nights hanging out with each other, seeing that Tokyo may have more fun then they realize. There may be something more then friendship.

The reason I love Lost in Translation is simply because the movie uses it’s visual magic to evoke the characters emotions as they take in Japan. The first five minutes gives a warm and soothing atmosphere of luxury of the hotel both characters are stay at. It’s not too long where we see the characters at a party that may seem fun, but overwhelming and tells us when we need to leave. The movie even ends by making the touristy Japanese markets feel like a wonderful vision of love. I remind again that these emotions are not given by the characters, but by the environments around them.
But even when Bob and Charlotte don’t say a lot, they are still given great performances. Bob Harris is Bill Murray. I cannot imagine anyone else playing this part, and would rather not think about another movie like this with a different actor. Lost in Translation shows off that the much younger Scarlett Johansson will eventually have a great Hollywood future. Combine a sweet story with some of the most beautiful cinematography of Japan I’ve seen, this is a story that really reminds me why I love movies.


I’ll give this five cherry blossom trees out of five. We may chose to close out people from our emotions, but don’t be surprised to see that a lot of your own emotions come out of your environment. Take another look around your home ask your self how your doing. Let Lost in Translation take you to Japan, and have a good time. 


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