It’s rare that you find a movie that sticks with you long after you’ve seen it for the first time. “Lost in Translation” (2003) was like that for me, for some reason. Maybe it stems from a time in my life where I was offered a job in Burbank, California, and I almost up and took it. It would have meant leaving my family and friends behind, moving away from Phoenix where I lived my entire life and starting up somewhere new without a single acquaintance.
It had some appeal to me, despite the nature of being very much on my own. Perhaps that’s why “Lost in Translation” had the impact it did. Bill Murray, who plays Bob Harris, is in a strange country and cannot sleep, and he meets Charlotte, played wonderfully by Scarlett Johansson, who is also in the same situation, but almost totally alone as her new husband has other things to do.
They connect with each other out of their need to be with something familiar. Being in Japan with no English spoken, these two naturally relate and spend a lot of time together over the next few days, trying to hold onto this amazing thing they’ve found amidst their loneliness.
The movie did an superb job of bringing the audience into the emotions going on inside these two. You actually can almost feel what they are going through and how they long to just BE with each other.
And that brings us to the end of the movie. Bob has to leave, the filming is done on his commercial,it’s time to go home and that means leaving Charlotte behind. But that’s the end really, they had no future, they were both married and their time was up. You felt their pain in ending the short relationship, but what other choice was there?
So Bob gets into his limo and is taken away, while Charlotte heads out onto the streets, back to wandering aimlessly like she did before, alone and out of place in this strange country.
But Bob stops, goes back and finds her walking.
They look at each other for a moment, and then they just hold each other. He whispers something to her, which makes her cry, makes her smile. They kiss, and she continues walking down the sidewalk, tears flowing, but a new look of happiness on her face. Bob gets into the limo and is gone.
I loved the movie, and I loved the final song in it so much that I now own the “Jesus and Mary Chain” album Psychocandy that it came from.
So the big mystery for all that saw it was this: What did he say to her?
Some wise words of comfort from an older man that allowed her to move on? That he’d see her again? That he loved her?
Well, we now know. I guess this video has been around since April of this year, but I hadn’t heard about it until my wife passed on a link to me this morning. Someone took the scene, digitally enhanced it and put together the find sentence that Bill Murray whispers to Charlotte.
It’s hard to hear, but I think they got it right.
Now, not everyone wants to know. The way it ended was perfect in my opinion, leaving it up to us to decide what he said to her. It was fitting and obviously kept people thinking about it afterwards.
So if you don’t want to know, don’t watch the video or read on after this point. But if you do, check it out below.
Here is the final line from him again, if you didn’t watch it or want to see it again:
Bob: “I have to be leaving…but I wont let that come between us, okay?”
Charlotte: “Okay.” *gasp*
This exchange seems totally fitting to me. But the real meaning behind it will always remain a mystery. Did that mean he was coming back to her? Or was he just leaving her with hope. That in having this hope, she wouldn’t be completely miserable and lonely. Her gasp at the end was like a breath of relief escaping her, so the words he said were the right ones.
I don’t know what it means. I don’t think we ever will. They are both married, so the real guy inside me wants to think that they just return to their lives, but another part of me hopes they end up together.
What do you think? Does it make a difference knowing what he said? Am I the only one who really enjoyed this film?