Fleeing from her past, Margaret ends up in Tokyo. Here the young American is a pronunciation teacher for English in the training center of an airline. In her free time, she gives herself the edge with the few friends she has in bars and seeks quick sex with strangers.
In bed with the Yakuza
The usual love hotels in Japan are the perfect and anonymous place for this. For Margaret and her lover, the language skills are only enough for rudimentary communication, the rest is purely physical. This changes abruptly when the young woman kazu crosses her path. Although unapproachable, but no less mysterious is this. He is also a member of the Yakuza, which has another attraction for the American. Unlike the others, for her with Kazu it is more than sex. Margaret falls head over heels in love. A hopeless undertaking, because the group rules do not allow a relationship with foreigners. In addition, Kazu is already promised to another. This plunges Margaret into a downward spiral of even more alcohol and one-night stands.
An American woman in Tokyo, the “Lost” in the title is no coincidence. But Alexandra Daddario is not Bill Murray, and the story is not even remotely funny, which would eliminate all commonalities about “Lost in translation”. However, one thing can be compared with the famous film model: The textile part of the action is similarly high. What is surprising in view of the title and what some might expect from it.
Daddario chastened as in Baywatch
But Daddario remains at least as chastened for long stretches as she appeared as a Baywatch mermaid. William Olsson lets his cameraman capture moods and assumptions. They are also erotic, but mostly depressed, because the latter is the basis of the overall behavior of the main person. Loneliness and anonymity, as well as a foreign culture and language, promote behaviors that you probably wouldn’t show at home. Perhaps this is the core message as Catherine Hanrahan wants it to be understood. Not only the literary template comes from this, but also the screenplay. What remains is a spectator who is at a loss for at least some distances. And Murray’s trip to Japan was no different. With which we would have found another commonality.
Lost Girls and Love Hotels
Genre: Drama/Erotic; FSK: 16 years; Running time: 97 minutes; Rental: Capelight; Director: William Olsson; Alexandra Daddario, Takehiro Hira, Carice van Houten; J/USA 2020