Sofia Coppola’s ‘Lost in Translation’ is an introvert’s fantasy. Two lost souls bewildered by life and relationships find themselves unable to translate and comprehend life. Bob (Bill Murray) earns millions for saying two lines for a commercial whereas Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) is newly married to the eccentric love of her life. They seem to have a life they were ‘supposed’ to have but perhaps they were navigated into the mere illusion of happiness that waits as a trap. Like two lost pieces of a puzzle rolling over an odd board game, they find themselves in Tokyo. The place becomes a manifestation of their fragmented lives where things have recently become unfamiliar.
The city with its lights, glasses and mirror reflect what they are searching for: meaning and direction. Now, families begin to matter less, jokes are less funny, priorities and people change colour and they find themselves stranded in a hotel. They begin to have sleepless nights as life gives incomplete answers to their doubts. They meet inside lifts, on the way back from the gym or the swimming pool or at the lounge. They come closer and find themselves in each other. They begin to understand their language of misery and translate the space and even the silence between them. However, time is running out. He has to leave. They embrace for one last time (or is it?); and then he whispers something in her ear. But what?
What does Bob (Bill Murray) whisper in Charlotte’s ear before they part?
The whisper in ‘Lost in Translation’ stitches two hearts and it overtakes a mere mystery. It remains more than a cinematic effect as the act itself communicates immensely. Curious netizens have come up with their own theories.
If one uses the best headphone with the loudest decibel available, one can perhaps hear the whisper end with “… I am going to call you, okay?” and Charlotte replies with a softer and hopeful “okay.” Then they kiss as if to seal a secret forever. Now the real question is: Do we really want to know what Bob whispers into Charlotte’s ears? Isn’t the entire essence of the whisper dipped in the mystery itself? Then again, what makes the whisper more than a cinematic trick?
Whisper ..or a metaphor?