Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Movie Review - Lost In Translation

Bill Murray stars as a film star down on his luck and reduced to doing corny adverts in Japan. After 25 years of marriage the love’s gone out of it, he can’t sleep, and is bored with his life. Scarlett Johansson has been married 2 years, just graduated, has no idea what she wants to do with her life. They’re both in Japan. They meet, they start to change, then they go back to being what they always were. And… er.. .that’s it…

Once again I seem to be at odds with most of the reviewers here at epinions. I really, really wanted to like this film. I wanted to admire the fact that, like Cold Mountain, it had the guts to be a little different and more character-driven than your average Hollywood film. Unfortunately, this is the 2001: Space Odyssey (yeah I know many people consider it a classic) of romantic films – nothing happens at the start of the films, and by the end of it plenty of nothing has still happened.

Bill Murray gives a pretty good performance, and you do feel for him. Scarlett Johansson prances around in pink panties (worryingly she seems to wear the same ones every day) and pouts perpetually, and says “um” a lot – most of the film seems to be dedicated to showing us her legs again and again. The other characters are not worth mentioning as they are paper-thin (yes, even thinner than Johansson’s character). But the lack of any kind of coherent plot really fails to give the film anything to stand on.

Being set in Japan, it does have one or too funny cultural moments – unfortunately, there is also a totally tasteless scene in a lap-dancing club (yeah I know, just how tasteful could it have been?) that appears to be there simply to give the film a "15" / "R" certificate. The photography should have been great, but these guys seem to have never heard of a Steadicam - some of the sequences showing you Japan shake about worse than any home video I've ever seen (apart from part of my wedding video when some kiddies had got hold of the camcorder!) – worse still, there’s a lot of atrocious editing that gives the impression more of a badly produced travel documentary than a well-made film.

Of the few things that do actually happen in this movie, most don’t really make any sense – such as some guy starting to shoot at Scarlett’s friends and thus her and Bill, and continues doing so, for no apparent reason. Did I miss something?

Considering the fact that some people consider Lost in Translation to be a masterpiece, I get the distinct feeling that I must have seen a different movie completely, but at the end of the day I think it's just a matter of whether you connect with the characters in the film - I didn't, ergo I didn't enjoy it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love this movie so much. Simple yet very profound. Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson are just amazing!