Lost In Translation – Bob Harris sings More Than This
This week, a propos one discussion about love with one of my best friends, I just remembered and went back to review “Lost in Translation”, Sofia Coppola´s only second but striking film.
Released in 2003, “Lost in Translation” won four Academy Awards and ranks among my list of “changed-mi-world” films. It had a decisive influence on my fascination for Tokyo and is one of the reasons why I decided start learning Japanese.
Against a post-modern Tokyo the film tells the story of two people who accidentally meet and spend some time together. Away from home, their common feeling of displacement is not only agravated by the cityscape itself but also by the lack of direction in their life. More than a case of empathy, a real sense of intimacy and mutual trust strikes them both from minute one. And though they never speak openly about it they both know what´s at stake – as we all do when we experience that in real life! (There´s a name for that which most people fear!)
I recalled the film for my friend has a view on love charged with idealism and fatalism at the same time. She is stubbornly “saving herself” for something meaningfull which, she believes, will take place inevitably without her having to move a finger. While pointing to her the blessing of women having finnaly moved on beyond the Cinderella role, and that anyway there are no Princes to be found these days, the amazing story of the film was playing in the back of my mind.
One of the most increadible moments is the final scene when Bob Harris (played by Bill Murray in what has been seen as THE performance of his carreer) while on his way to the airport spots Charlotte (played by Scarlett Johansson) among a frenetic crowd and jumps out the taxi to reach her.
He embraces her, whispers something on her hear and gives her a tender kiss before leaving again. What short-minded critics have considered to be a cheat on the audience for we are left with the frustration of not knowing if they relationship will continue or not, many think (me included) that that was one of the most magic, painfull and beautifull moments of the film. And exactly what has prevented us to forgetfully – as happens with so many other films – overcome it.
Unfortunately such grandious delight has now been ruined! Bill Murray´s whisper has been decoded by someone and uploaded on You Tube.
But, then again, I feel both disappointed about knowing it and relieved at the same time! It is indeed easier to bare! The point being that it is not about a happy end but about making us recognize how unbelievably easy and a true tragedy it is to completely miss that: “More than this/ You know there´s nothing”…