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“Lost in Translation” by Sofia Coppola Film Analysis Essay


There is emotive feeling you get after watching Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation creates an intense inner power within you. This captivating film that lasts for 102 minutes connects in a close manner with the viewer in such a personal way that you feel that you are one of the starring actors Bob Harris (Bill Murray) and Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson). It leaves you with that suspenseful experience that you would want to describe, but you lack the words to. In short, Coppola creatively succeeds in putting the viewers in that thought-provoking state of what we want in life. The movie’s main theme is that all of us are lost in one way or another.

The movie’s Japanese setting relevantly exhausts the theme of getting lost. Bob, together with Charlotte, is Americans who find themselves in foreign surroundings. Being in a foreign country far away from home denotes the lost physical theme. In one scene, Bob is driven around the town with his eyes are fixed on the proliferated commercial posters. He scratches his head in confusion wears a surprised look, perhaps wondering how big the Japanese capital is. In another scene, Bob sits on his bed in his room, looking lonely and in deep thought. Such scenes imply that the strange look of the expansive Tokyo city completely overwhelms his imagination, thus creating a feeling of being lost physically.

The movie also shows how we are lost about culture and society. By finding himself in Japan, Bob, the American character, is faced with a language barrier between him and the natives. For instance, interpretation services are enlisted to break the language barrier between him and his director during the commercial photo-shoot. Bob cannot stop wondering how the frequent long dialogues between the interpreter and his director translate to shortly phrased directions to him. During a photo-shoot, a confused Bob simply wants to know the direction to turn from, but the director and the interpreter argue for a long time before responding to him.

The theme of being lost spiritually or in relationships is also brought out in the movie. Bob shares with Charlotte how he is unsettled in his marriage. Bob also faces a tough time while trying to communicate with his wife in a phone conversation. He tries to connect with his wife to get her to understand what he is going through, but his wife hangs up before he does so. He reveals to Charlotte the feeling of losing his place in his family. Just like Charlotte, Bob also reveals that he has at one time sought inspiration through listening to a self-help book CD titled “A Soul’s Search.” Therefore, the movie brings out the concept of being lost spiritually and in relationships.

Sofia Coppola uses the character, Bob Harris, to communicate her views on themes such as communication, loneliness, culture shock, among other themes. His talent in comedy comes out brilliantly as he captivates and sustains his audience’s attention. Bob can be referred to as several characters in one. To young Charlotte, he is a mentor and soul mate who offers guidance to her. He has been through a turbulent marriage and acting, and thus he comes in handy to a youthful soul and newly married Charlotte who is fresh from university and in pursuit of career mentorship.

However, Bob is portrayed as a failed family man and husband. Sofia Coppola communicates mystery and emptiness through the comic character Bob. These two concepts are relevant to the movie title “Lost in Translation” since they show the confusion that comes with finding oneself in a strange environment.

In terms of production, the movie is full of spectacular visual effects that bring out a perfect scenery that matching the experiences of the main characters. One hilarious scene is when Bob is the lift with the Japanese his height makes him stand out. In the same scene, a confused Bob is placed in the middle of the lift surrounded by his colleagues in line with the movie title Lost in Translation. These special effects help build the main character’s role in line with the main story.

The experiences of Bob form the foundation of the movie Lost in Translation. The connection between the movie and the audience is established and sustained by the events he undergoes. In summary, by being genuine and true to his character, Murray tactfully draws our attention into the character that he acts and into the story of the movie. After a rare meeting with Charlotte in a foreign country and a thorough soul search in a strange environment with strange culture, we are left in a state of wanting to know whether Bob gets what he wants in life. We are also left in suspense about his true nature after being “Lost in Translation.” I would thus recommend this movie to every individual who is seeking to rediscover themselves in a captivating and comic way.

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IvyPanda. (2020, May 12). "Lost in Translation" by Sofia Coppola Film Analysis. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/lost-in-translation-by-sofia-coppola-film-analysis/

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IvyPanda. 2020. ""Lost in Translation" by Sofia Coppola Film Analysis." May 12, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/lost-in-translation-by-sofia-coppola-film-analysis/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) '"Lost in Translation" by Sofia Coppola Film Analysis'. 12 May.

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