Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation ★★★★½

There's really nothing like watching this film at 2AM, in a dreary daze, with your eyes fighting sleep and flickering at every neon Tokyo light. That elevator scene - how many life-altering connections have we missed by not taking a chance and engaging with that intriguing person in the corner that caught your glance? Fortunately Bob and Charlotte do happen to follow up on that initial glance and we get to experience the purest of connections between two lost souls in a foreign, alien land. I love how Coppola films Tokyo from a low angle, constantly having the huge skyscrapers and giant ads loom over everything like the whole place is enclosed in one huge bubble. The only time we see Tokyo from above is the shots of Bob or Charlotte staring out the window, silently contemplating. I often go back and forth on how happy or sad Lost In Translation makes me feel. The brilliance is that it's both - it's devastating and it's hopeful, it's melancholic and it's jubilant. I love the line "Let's never come back here again, because it will never be as much fun." from Charlotte since it encapsulates what the film is. The connection the two have made has been so genuine and it pulled them out of their respective slumps, but it's still temporary, the trip will still end and they'll still have to return to their former relationships and constant worries.

I remember a time when this film was nothing more than a footnote to me. How naive I was. Or maybe since I first watched it I've realized how fleeting life is, and how all of us will feel the same lugubrious lows as Bob and Charlotte do here, and we hope we're able to find someone to pull us out of that smothering black hole, at least temporarily. Most of us won't have that moment, we'll miss our chance to catch the smile of that stranger in the elevator, but whatever happens, at least we'll always have Bob and Charlotte to fall back on.

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