Lost in translation

Well, don’t get it wrong. This is not a blog on translation, though that is my favorite subject.I have written few times about that topic on my blog. Over the year end holidays last week of 2016, I was able to catch up on some movies. First one, of course, a mega movie, Dangal, which has seen rave reviews all over and Aamir Khan has been splendid in that. It is adorable story, and something to be proud of. The other movie is world war movie I watched titled The English Patient which I was watching on and off. This Academy award movie did not keep me focused on it. The movie I wanted to talk about here is Lost in Translation. This and the former one I watched on television.

After watching it for more than one and half hours, I ended up with a feeling that the movie did not have anything from story’s perspective. But it had so much and was quite gripping as well. I almost thought it as one of the art cinemas which we used to get couple of decades back in India. It is an old movie, starring  Bill Murray and Scarlet Johansson. It is set in Japan, mainly Tokyo. I certainly got interested in this movie because of its title, and was wondering what is that it about translation. The moment I learnt it is set in Japan, I said to myself that it must be about humor created because of translation goof ups and such.

Bill who is playing a role of veteran actor in the movie, travels to Japan for advertising assignment related shooting. He has been married for long enough, and the movie shows him at times missing his family, at times enjoying his time away from it. He happens to cross paths with a young lady(character played by Scarlet) who is also in Japan with her husband who is there for work assignment. He is too busy and not able to pay enough attention to her during their stay there. They both keep meeting again and again, develop friendship, affection, at time going on the border of extra-marital relation which never happens. That tension has been there in the entire movie, and it ends with Bill going back, leaving spectators get a feeling that nothing happened. Now you may say what is all this to do with a title of the movie. Nothing really. Except, few scenes, comic ones, where Japanese language translation issues to English, pronunciations create some smiles, to otherwise, calm, slow movie. Film tries to depict shades of loneliness, emptiness with people of different genders and that too at different stage of their lives(one going through mid-life crisis, other going through phase of tentativeness, uncertainty in early days of marriage), which is I think is a true achievement of the movie.

This was first time I watched having both these lead actors(together or otherwise). Incidentally, I read next day that Scarlet Johansson is highest grossing actress for year 2016. I certainly enjoyed both of their acting and chemistry in the movie.

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