• Publication date: April 1, 2011

Two Strangers Roam Tokyo in Search of Meaning Lost in Translation: Innocence and Experience

Lost In Translation focuses on two people facing two separate dilemmas: the apparent nothingness of a man facing a midlife crisis, and a newlywed college graduate who�s unsure about her career and her husband.

Lost In Translation focuses on two people facing two separate dilemmas: the apparent nothingness of a man facing a midlife crisis, and a newlywed college graduate who�s unsure about her career and her husband.

Bob Harris� maturity and experience compliments the inexperience and uncertainty of twenty-four year old Charlotte. Together they wander through Tokyo and its outskirts in search of solace, that they manage to find within themselves emotionally rather than sexually, contrary to the expectations of similar films.

Japanese television commercials commonly feature famous American entertainers, oftentimes at the tail end of their careers. This is the case of the film�s leading man Bob Harris, who is in Tokyo to film a 30 second whisky commercial; in return, he will receive a generous $2 million.

The unfamiliarity of Tokyo and its language and customs, coupled with jetlag-induced insomnia inevitably gives him plenty of time to review his life�s progress thus far.

The lingering belief that Bob�s life is halfway over, and that the prosperity and fame of his earlier years is fading increases the severity of an already present depression. Additionally, his loyal wife feels distant to him, but not simply in miles: their conversations are mundane, fixated on things such as textiles she wishes Bob to retrieve for her.

Charlotte seems to be the antithesis of Bob: she is young, newlywed, and fresh out of college. However they share the same existential crisis, searching for both a true love and a true calling.

Charlotte is visiting Japan alongside her husband, a professional photographer. A cloud of loneliness hovers above her as she questions her levels of affection, interest, and intimacy toward her husband. While her hubby is shuffling throughout the city and mingling with so-called important people and celebrities, Charlotte is sitting at a hotel bar, drinking away the pain.

At this juncture Bob and Charlotte meet and slowly reveal their personal fears and desires. They are two strangers allured to one another, not for sexual desire, but emotional need and guidance. In fact, if the two were not strangers it is doubtful either would be so willing to let down their guards, and this in turn makes for a deeply genuine and complicated relationship.

The two visit a karaoke bar, watch late night television together, attend a drug-infected party, and even visit a Japanese religious temple.

Lost in Translation was awarded both an Oscar and a Golden Globe. It was a runaway box office success; with a budget of only $4 million ticket sells grossed over $119 million worldwide.

This movie is rated R for some sexual content.

Year: 2003

Runtime: 102 mins

Genre: Drama/ Romance

Starring:

Bill Murray

Scarlett Johansson

Giovanni Ribisi

Anna Faris

Fumihiro Hayashi

Yutaka Tadokoro

Directed by: Sofia Coppola