Lost In Translation (2003) Review

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Lost In Translation is a 2003 romantic drama starring Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson and was directed and written by Sofia Coppola, the daughter of acclaimed director Francis Ford Coppola who directed The Godfather trilogy and Apocalypse Now.

A big shot over the hill middle aged movie star Bob Harris (Murray) with a sense of emptiness, and a neglected newly-wed Charlotte (Johansson) meet as strangers visiting Tokyo, Japan with nothing in common other than loneliness and insomnia, and form an unlikely bond.

Bob finds himself growing further and further estranged from his wife whose back home in America with their children and Charlotte beginning to find herself increasingly ignored by her photographer husband, unsure if the man she has married is the same man she fell in love with.

Their lives entwine as they find themselves totally lost in a foreign land dealing with their regrets, worries, insomnia and questioning the meaning of their lives and the choices they have made. One scene in particular when Bob and Charlotte lie on a bed with the recurring question ‘does it get easier?’

The film is classed as a Romantic Comedy, yet there is comedy without any gags or witty one liner’s and is romantic with there being very little romance. The film, dialogue and characters are very honest, with their true feelings laid bare and true on screen and relate able real life issues, with incredible performances from Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson which engages the audience.

The film’s score is also perfect, with a sense of vast tones to soundtrack the landscape shots of the neon lights of Tokyo, a city that doesn’t seem to sleep, and the outstanding choice of Jesus And The Mary Chain’s distortion laden “Just Like Honey” closing the film elegantly as viewers, who click and identify with the film, will be holding back tears or at least a lump in the throat.

Another highlight of the film is the stunning Tokyo landscape visuals. The film takes us to many locations, vastly different at times, whether it’s a monk’s temple, the hotel rooms, a bar or watching Japanese teen’s playing away on arcade machines. The film isn’t meant to entertain, but rather be an eye-opener and an experience that everyone should have. It’s no surprise the film was nominated for four academy awards, and Coppola taking home the Oscar for best original screenplay.

If you want CGI heavy Blockbuster films or laugh out loud comedy, this isn’t for you, but if you want to see the world a little differently, this is the film for you.

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Monday Morning Musings

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I exhaled heavily and looked around the Edge Hill University Hub building to see if anyone had noticed. The attack of last night’s complimentary bottles of beer were going toe to toe with this morning’s toothpaste, holding ceremony and battle on my tongue, using it as a battle ground, and the beer had the high ground.

The vast airy ceilings and the hustle and bustle of quick feet and fast food and instant coffee’s, make for a clinical, airport-esque feeling, an all too familiar thing, it doesn’t help dragging this weekend’s suitcase of dirty clothes around with me, not quite knowing which direction to take, dodging people left, right and centre, not feeling all up for an empty conversation with anyone and with people dragging their heels around in plain sight gave that traditional Monday morning feeling, not that anyone had forgotten it, not that it was some sort of foreign feeling.

They were here, there and everywhere, were new people starting new days, new courses, with new friends, strange new surroundings, new smells, new smiles, new keys, new lives. I take comfort in knowing I’m adaptable though. I’ve been half way around the world and back, a citizen of the World. I missed Paris though, winding back streets to quaint piano bars with cheap French wine and fresh divine croissants scenting the air, filling the nostrils with sheer delight and the grandiosity of the Eiffel Tower and the feeling of wanting to bathe in the Seine.

All that seemed a million miles away, with no tinkling of the ivory keys in a hidden gem of a Parisian bar, but there was only burnt toast in the air and overpriced soft drinks on offer and busy footsteps, as a pair fade down the hall way, another two tune in and echo around, picking up where the previous had left off, and the clatter of a breakfast plates, stacking high for the new batch of customers, and the sounds of a bin nearing it’s capacity for waste.

The breakfast smells fade together and linger, clinging to the walls around it, and the scent amplified by a rumbling stomach and lack of good food plaguing my weekend away, as the students crunch into overdone toast, and slurp urgently at tea and juice, as if in case a table clearer or a passer-by were to snatch it up for an honest crust.

Feeling over tired and small, my head detached, no longer a full entity with the rest of my body, my fingertips indented and coarse from where the guitar strings had been pressed hard the night previous. I placed my headphones in my ears and pressed hard on the keypad and volume button and turned it to maximum, I needed a kick in the teeth kind of song, so I played the new Babyshambles record, blaring it in my ears and a grit of the teeth, I was now back in the game, I was awake – or as awake as I’d felt for days, realising I’ve clocked up roughly four hours sleep in as many days and longed for home, or at least my comfy pair of shoes, I’d have settled for them, I’d travelled miles, bags in tow and my heels were wearing away  in the shoes on my feet, a comfy pair of shoes are a good start.

In a matter of hours, I’d gone from a stage to a classroom, known to an unknown, and as I sat there I noticed similarities where my world’s collided, I’d be critiqued, with a spot light watching my every move, whilst I attempt my best to impress a bunch of people I don’t know much about.

A lot of passing people too, people I’d forget or blend into another or remember something about them, I’d remember a face but not a name, or a name without a face, the days and people in them blending together into one, with Friday and the weekend seeming a century ago, and a century away, a time away, but the assurance that Friday will come and visit, is not just briefly, before inevitably fading again into another Monday morning.