Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Lost In Translation (revised)


As much as I thought Lost In Translation was a pretty crafted piece of cinema, I finally come to terms today that this is one of the overrated movies of all time. Given how this is one of the movies in Bill Murray's 'second' career in indie filmmaking (mind you, I've never seen any of his films except for this one) and introduced Scarlett Johansson to every man in the world and opened up their fantasies... before Megan Fox.

Here's a confession. I watched this movie only because she's in it and given how shallow I am when it comes to her films, she's never a great actress and not a good one, what was I thinking?

But given how Sofia Coppola's latest film Somewhere, which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and how polarizing it is to the public, when I've first seen the trailer, it has too much familiar territory to this empty box.

Anyway the first thing I know is the story. Murray plays Bob a famous Hollywood actor who goes to Tokyo so he could shoot an ad of Japan's finest whisky. What was that all about? Johansson meanwhile plays Charlotte who's married to a famous photographer also in Tokyo. I learned about travelling. That is you literally get a hard time sleeping. So when both these Americans cannot sleep they escape together and bond over Japanese culture.

I think that the Coppola family is getting way too dispirited with everything that has got to do with movies especially with Hollywood. Nicolas Cage will be cursed if he returns to another studio-based movie, Jason Schwartzman will be forgotten and Coppola shows his displeasure with this movie.

Inspired by her father's experiences with Tokyo, this is a movie you will love, but rather forget. There is absolutely no way that you can actually believe in these characters. They are messed that even though the performances are endearing, the characters are not. If I had met these characters in real life and they later become sullen if they are in an Asian country, I'll tell them get a life!

Murray may have pulled off a performance of a lifetime, but all he does is looked depressed and drink a bit of whisky. Johansson on the other hand plays Charlotte as some loner who is too afraid of going into a freakin' temple she then start crying. Also I don't get how her ass in the first shot of the film is there. I swear to god that it does nothing to do with her emotional status. That shot never has any kind of symbolism.

Independent filmmaking shows a bleak and grim portrait of our lives in the early 2000s. But what I'd like about it is that it shows great depth and honesty. Honesty is one of Hollywood's most cursed words. Films like Being John Malkovich, The Royal Teneumbums and Memento are some examples. I would give credit to Coppola who gives a beautifully crafted and experimental direction to this movie with its gritty photography and such.

But it seems that Coppola wants to show us a message and it's way too puzzling to tell because there is but it's almost vague like the title itself. Are Americans racist? Are we too depressed to be given attention? Or is Coppola too depressed to be given attention that she had made this movie for nothing?

The flaw that had made this movie less appealing is less in layer with its screenplay which makes it completely boring. The more boring, the more you feel to that close of watching an overrated movie.

Lost In Translation is a great movie, but not of all time. It may either make you feel good or feel devastated, unfortunately it's rather forgettable.


  1. I thought it was overrated an frankly a little boring, but it was saved by the performances and the good written script. Excellent review

  2. nice review, i would agree with this. there is nothing truly special about this film, im not sure when everyone started losing their shit over it. Bill Murray is in some pretty funny films, you should check out his filmography.

  3. The first time I saw it, I also thought it was boring. Pretty, but boring. You would be surprised at how much more you would take in the second time around. I now own the movie on Blu-ray-- that's how much it grew on me. Good review, though.

  4. @Nick -how come you still own a movie on Blu Ray when you think it was so boring.