Thursday, January 11, 2007

lost in translation

Lost in Translation (2003) by Sophia Coppola was a film all about loneliness and people finding comfort in each other. The main characters Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) and Bob Harris (Bill Murray) find themselves isolated in Japan a foreign country where they both stand out of place. For Murray it is his size, and for Johansson it is her blonde hair that separates them from the Japanese people around them. These are small features that play a major role in developing the loneliness of both characters. To augment this emotion within her film Coppola uses jet lag as a tool promoting the desperation of the character’s situations.
On the other side of the world the internal clock of both characters are thrown askew, stressed and unhappy neither one can sleep. This fact cerates a tension between the two main characters and everyone and everything around them. Even when they find each other, and gain the ability to talk about the things that are troubling them sleep remains an issue. In a moment of bonding both Murray and Johansson are lying in Murray’s bed discussing life and marriage, in a moment of utter tenderness and love that is almost totally asexual, because neither one could sleep. Coppola doesn’t discuss whether the lack of sleep is do to the unhappiness of the characters or the time zones, however, in this scene only when the sun begins to rise do both Murray and Johansson fall asleep.
Coppola’s use of foreignness makes this movie. The setting, the changes the characters experience, the distance between them and the rest of the world is what makes this movie’s so important. It discusses very truthfully the feelings of isolation that everyone feel at some point, and the choices that we all must make in order to live.


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