Movie Review: Lost in Translation

Saw the widely acclaimed Lost in trainslation starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson.

Bill Murray plays a middle-aged man living in Japan on an extended business visit, while Scarlett Johansson plays a young recently married woman visiting Japan with her husband also on business. Both live in a large hotel and run into each other on and off. The movie is about how circumstances bring the two characters together, well almost. The contrast between a middle aged man who is ambling along in life and a young woman who is just beginning married life is portrayed, or at least that appears to be the intent (based on my translation!).

Overall, I was at a loss as to what all the fuss about this movie was. I never found it funny. Neither did I find anything earth-shaking about the production/direction aspects of the film. Bill Murray had the same smug expression through the movie, there were times I wished someone would just step up and give him a slap or two to see if his expression might change. Scarlett Johansson on the other hand, does a fine job. With minimal dialogues she portrays a lot of emotion through facial expressions. The movie is full of disjointed scenes, and very often I was left to wonder what the point of many of the scenes were! After I while, I was waiting for something to happen, and sure enough nothing did.

In short, I was lost all through the movie. Maybe I needed someone to translate!

Polar Express on IMAX

Over the holidays we saw the Polar Express on IMAX. If you plan to watch on IMAX make sure you find good seats (at the top). Otherwise, its better to watch it in a regular movie hall. During the holiday break every show was full and we actually purchased the tickets in advance.

Nice movie. Kids will enjoy it for sure. The look and feel of this film is different from the other popular animated films. I prefer the Pixar/Disney animated movies.

India flexing its muscles

Its interesting that India refused the International Aid to deal with the damages caused by the Tsunami. I always wondered if aid of this nature comes with strings attached? Maybe it does.

On the one hand, it does speak highly of India’s ability to respond to calamities of this proportion without external help. On the other , one can’t help wonder if India “really” has the ability to handle the situation. In any case, I think its a bold stance that makes India stand out, for good or for worse time will tell.

Its also interesting that the Saudis have just invited India to bid on some projects, and announced some partnerships. As the WSJ reported(subscription required) today “Saudi Arabia proposed a partnership with India in a series of big energy deals, underscoring how global petroleum markets’ center of gravity is shifting toward the vast and fast-growing Chinese and Indian markets….”