The film is directed and written by Sofia Coppola.The film revolves around the two main characters Bob and Charlotte portrayed by Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson respectively.They both are both Americans sojourners in Tokyo. The film depicts their gradual adjustment with the foreign culture and the growing bond between the protagonists of the film.
The film may have slightly tilted towards western ethnocentrism. The common stereotypes about the Japanese are somewhat reinforced in this film. As very early in the film Bob says, “short and sweet, vey Japanese”, which shows that the character has preconceptions about the people and their beliefs and customs.
The film has a curious name “lost in translation” which may describe the convoluted, complicated and intricate nature of communication aspect of intercultural competence.
The setting of film in Tokyo shows a pop culture which apparently looks much closer to the American culture as almost everyone is dressed western demeanor but still both characters in the beginning to feel alienated.
Language barrier is perhaps the first and biggest hurdle in communication. The mispronunciations of “Roger Moore” with “Loger Moore” and “Rip” with “Lip” make Bob frustrated and confused. During the film Bob tries to seduce Charlotte by saying that, “I’m trying to organize a prison break; I’m looking for, like, an accomplice. We’d have to, first, get out of this bar. Then the hotel, then the city, and then country .Are you in, or are you out? I’m in. Good. I’ll go pack my stuff.”
The conversation above gives us insight about Bob’s mind. It shows the desperation of protagonist to get out as soon as possible. As we can see from the context that the Bob did not meant it literally to get out of this country at that very moment but the symbolic meaning of this dialogue shows that he was discontented and so was Charlotte. Now the question why were they so unhappy and did this feeling persisted or wearied down with time? We can see as the two characters came close to each other they began to learn to adapt and embrace Japanese society.
As the film progresses, Bob, who is a renowned actor develops a close rapport with Charlotte who is alone and is a fresh graduate. After their frequent meetings at the hotel Charlotte invites Bob to a friend’s get together. It was strange enough to see that all the friruggling to adjust in a foreign country with an unfamiliar language . Initially what happens toends of Charlotte happens to be Japanese whereas earlier in the film she was shown st be a fun night gradually grows into more intimate in nature between Bob and Charlotte and also shows us that for Bob Tokyo has started to become bearable.
The scenes where Bob has to shoot the commercial for the “Suntory Whisky” make him exhausted to work in uncharted waters. In a scene where the interpreter translates that the director has asked him to look at the camera, Bob says, “That’s all he said”, which shows clearly that the author has the different perception about the length of conversation and what it meant.
Dialogue and music 4/5
Story line 3.5/5
IMDb rating 7.8
My rating 4 /5