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Dharma Movie Review: Lost In Translation

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  • NamoAmituofo
    ... For www.TheDailyEnlightenment.com ... Dharma Movie Review: Lost In Translation Lost In a Floating World ~Winner of 3 Golden Globe Awards & Nominated for 4
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 5, 2004

      For www.TheDailyEnlightenment.com

      Dharma Movie Review: Lost In Translation

      Lost In a Floating World

      ~Winner of 3 Golden Globe Awards & Nominated for 4 Academy Awards~

      Tagline: Everyone Wants to Be Found.

      Plot: Bob (Bill Murray) is a film star who has been paid a huge sum to go to Japan to endorse a whisky. Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) is a young philosophy graduate who is accompanying her photographer husband. Both are fish out water, isolated by their own sincerity and the barely intelligible culture gap, and trying to make sense of their lives. -imdb.com

      Trailer: Bob is an actor. Bob is lost. Bob doesn't speak the language. Sometimes you have to go halfway around the world to come full circle.

      Bill Murray is the most Zen comic talent we've ever had... and so putting him in Japan has a Zen charm. 
      -David Elliott (Union-Tribune Movie Critic)

      bill murray and scarlett johansson

      Lost & Found in Reflection :

      Existential Crisis

      Lost in transition, Bob experiences the midlife crisis of a successful but marriage-weary man, while Charlotte lives the quarterlife crisis of a newly wedded lady unsure of her future and career. Both are at different ends of the spectrum of life, discovering themselves to be foreigners to others and themselves in a foreign land. But better an existential crisis any time than never, right? Only when we question our life can we find the answer to truly live, and seek greater enlightenment. In a sense, they were like spiritual hungry ghosts with no real solutions for each other, other than the pleasure of each other's company, offering each a listening ear. But then again, maybe that was good enough for the moment. Their short chance meeting becomes a friendship, leading them to misadventures in discovery of Tokyo life and rediscovery of their lives and life's possibilities. In their random exploration of city life, there is hinting of the absurdity of the colourful masses and its indulgences of the senses. Though seemingly short-lived, they touched each other, and we know their friendship will last forever. It does not matter how temporal our encounters with strangers are, as long as we treasure its value in the moment. This movie is indeed a gem on unconditional human connection - to others and to ourselves. Without any heavy messages, it is a story like life... No... it is life itself.

      Bardo of Becoming

      The paradox of modern business travel is that it can make you feel brutally anonymous while scraping you down to your truest self. The airport lobbies and hotel bars, the rooms pregnant with waiting: They replace the details of our regular lives with uniform dislocation. This is limbo, or what the Buddhists call bardo, and it can be a terrifying form of grace.

      Sofia Coppola's (Director) lovely, lapidary "Lost in Translation" is about this stateless state of being, and about two lost "souls" who find themselves waltzing together in the void. It's not a love story, or, at any rate, the sort we expect from movies. It's something deeper and simpler. -TY Burr (Globe Staff)

      Phrases that come to mind as I watched the movie floundering... existential alienation... adrift... floating... don't speak the language... don't understand the way of life... don't understand life itself... unaccustomed to the lightness of being... suspension...

      Mono No Aware

      The Japanese phrase "mono no aware", is a bittersweet reference to the transience of life. It came to mind as I was watching "Lost in Translation," which is sweet and sad at the same time it is sardonic and funny. Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson play two lost "souls" rattling around a Tokyo hotel in the middle of the night, who fall into conversation about their marriages, their happiness and the meaning of it all. -Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times)

      What Are You Doing?

      Bob: What are you doing?
      Charlotte: My husband's a photographer, so he's here working. I wasn't doing anything so I came along.
      Bob: What do you do?
      Charlotte: I'm not sure yet, actually...

      Charlotte (Another occasion): I just don't know what I'm supposed to be.
      Bob: You'll figure that out. The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.
      Comment: What do you do? Really do? Do you only do your job? Is your job your life? What do you do beyond your job? Who are you supposed to be? The Buddha tells us that though we are at times lost, we all wish to be truly happy, and this is possible only when we become fully Enlightened, while the process itself can be a path of joy.

      Are You Awake?

      Note slipped under Charlotte's hotel door in middle of the night by Bob: Are you awake?

      Comment: Charlotte read the note. She had to be awake to read it. You are awake too - but how awake? How are you waking up? To what?

      More Than This...

      Lyrics of "More Than This" (Ferry - Roxy Music)

      I could feel at the time
      There was no way of knowing
      Fallen leaves in the night
      Who can say where they're blowing
      As free as the wind
      And hopefully learning
      Why the sea on the tide
      Has no way of turning

      More than this - there is nothing
      More than this - tell me one thing
      More than this - there is nothing

      It was fun for a while
      There was no way of knowing
      Like dream in the night
      Who can say where we're going
      No care in the world
      Maybe I'm learning
      Why the sea on the tide
      Has no way of turning

      More than this - there is nothing
      More than this - tell me one thing
      More than this - there is nothing

      Comment: "More than THIS - there is nothing."
      THIS is THIS now. All we have is now. Live in the moment - because the future is uncertain and we can't return to the past. Bob was relishing the moment. A rather Zennish classic song with lyrics on the ethereality of life, which Bob sang in the karaoke, with a touch of reflective melancholy that is both funny yet moving.

      Feeling Numb

      Charlotte explored Japan on her own, becoming thoroughly disoriented by the extremes of Japanese life - ranging from the hullabaloo of loud neon lights and arcade games to the solemnness of a Buddhist temple, where she overhears some monks chanting. Calling a friend home in America, she tells her that "I didn't feel anything." Then she blurts out: "I don't know who I married." She wanted to feel touched, to feel gladness. Well, she did feel her numbness at least, which is good. This is part of experiencing the First Noble Truth - of our existential disorientation and dissatisfaction - even if we cannot seem to pin in down readily yet.

      Setting Free

      With sexual tension at every turn, both Bob and Charlotte, while connecting well like "soulmates", were equally cautious not to let sex ruin their friendship and marriages. Do they long for each other? Are they victims of their circumstances? Or are they simply able to set each other free out of a greater love? Was it not an unconditional love of a kind?

      Secret Whisper

      We wonder what Bob said to Charlotte in the final heart-wrenching yet heart-warming scene, as he rushes up to her, hugs her and whispers something to her before departing, as she smiles and walks on. Sofia Coppola (Director) has said in many interviews that we aren't meant to know because it is a private moment between Bob and Charlotte. Was it "Thank you"? "See you later?" "I love you?" "Don't worry, be happy?"

      It's a beautiful and fitting ending to me because throughout the show, Bob and Charlotte's problems were not clearly defined - we are left guessing to much extent as to the real anguish they felt about their individual lives. And at the end of the show, the secret whisper seems to be the magic solution to their questions. While some of us frown at the mystery, some of us are left smiling like Charlotte did. What is my intepretation? We are all lost in our own personal ways to some extent, not unlike Bob and Charlotte, and the answer is for us to find out for ourselves - you have to hear the secret whisper yourself. if no one whsipers the secret solution to us, let us learn to start listening to ourselves... and smile... the Buddha's sweet smile :-)

      What does the movie translate to you? Is it lost in translation?

      shian@... | More Movies : www.moonpointer.com

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