Lost in Translation is a quiet film. Not quiet in the sense that it's boring, not in the slightest, it is by far one of the most interesting and engaging films I have ever seen. It's just quiet, a brooding film that stays with you long after the credits roll. One of the reasons I have such an affinity with this film is that it is completely up to the viewer how to the perceive the relationship between the two main characters, Bob and Charlotte. In my eyes, it is the perfect love story, so simplistic, it doesn't need long, intense dialogue or endless scenes of affection between the characters.
I watched this film when it first came out, eight years ago, boy does that make me feel old. My mum hated it, the first sign of a fabulous motion picture. I was fifteen years old when I watched this film and I understood it even then, the intense despair, loneliness and crisis that the character were seemingly trapped in, and the solace that they afforded each other. Lost in Translation remains my favourite romance film of all time, even though on the surface it may not seem romantic at all. At the age of twenty three, I can now fully relate to Charlotte, the lost young women who has travelled with her husband to Japan with hopes of finding her true calling. There is one truly wonderful scene in the film in which Charlotte explains her hopelessness to Bob, saying:
'I just don't know what I'm supposed to be. I thought maybe I wanted to be a writer...but I hate what I write, and I tried taking pictures, but John's so good at that, and mine are so mediocre...and every girl goes through a photography phase, like horses, you know, dumb pictures of your feet...'
For me, there hasn't been a more realistic scene in cinema since Charlotte laid on her hotel bed with Bob Harris and shared her fears. In a few sentences, Sofia Coppola managed to sum up the entire twenty-something female experience, at least she summed up mine. I wish I had written it, it's just so perfect, so encompassing and so god damn true. As a young person, I'm still coming to terms with who I am, what I want from life, what I want to achieve and what I want to leave behind when I depart this world. My mind is indecisive, running wild because this whole world has provided me too many options when it comes to what I actually want to do. I feel like Charlotte, minus the marriage, I'm wandering around lost with too many roads to travel down, and all I desperately want is someone to show me the way.
At its core, Lost in Translation is a love story, a romance of sorts, but the majority of people would probably view it more as a tale of friendship. In my head, Bob and Charlotte are happy together, he whispered to her that he loved her, left his loveless marriage and she hers, and they embarked on a soul-searching journey in which they found their true selves. This is why Lost in Translation is essentially a film of your own creation, it provides you the opportunity to let your imagination run wild, to decide their ending for yourself. Whatever happened between them, I sincerely hope that Charlotte discovered what she wanted to do. I hate to think of her ambling through the misery of indecision alone, stuck with a man who doesn't satisfy her desire. Wherever Bob and Charlotte are, I hope they're happy with their lives, with their decisions, and I hope they're not lost any more.