Lost in Translation
When you see something given the Retro look, for example, the question is what’s lost in translation?
Not much happens in this film. She’s a Yale philosophy grad (nowhere defined), married to a professional photographer who shoots bands and wonders why there has to be so much hype in the business.
The other he is a film star on the Suntory circuit. They meet and talk and do karaoke and sub-karaoke, and then he leaves. Two things happen, in an upstairs karaoke bar he sings “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding”, turning to the city through the picture window on the words, “this wicked world,” it’s very comical. Then, he rides along the elevated highway at the end and an offramp’s marked The Ginza.
That’s all, nothing much else to it. Oh, a twitty young American actress breezes through, a sham cosmopolite. There are other incidents. He tees off at a golf course under Mt. Fuji, a nice long shot. Secondary themes, minor embellishments.
It’s all rather like Turtle Diary, or Ginger e Fred, or Hiroshima Mon Amour, even. They watch La Dolce Vita on a portable screen. It may be possible to extrapolate a humorous formal feint with Premium Fantasy Woman and the Lounge Singer, which would at any rate be background to the actual structure.
So there isn’t anything much to say, in this state of affairs. Lost in Translation says as much and ends. What’s charming are the reviews that claim it’s a soul-searching romance, with a rather wistful title.