Lost In Translation: Ibsen’s Modernism

This article focuses on Ibsen’s theories and ideas on realism and ethics. Ibsen brings the focus of ethics to drama, he does this by explaining that drama involves the content by the historical world which pertains to the present time (the time it was received). Another concept that seems to have started these ideas is Spinoza’s ideas that the world is a constantly changing place that is evolving and progressing in a way that is unpredictable and unstable these ideas are compared to the ideas that were previous that the world was fixed and unchangeable, this theory then leads to the idea of the individual which sparks the idea that the human is both rational and spiritual.

With relation to the film “Lost in Translation” I believe that Ibsen’s ideas come through when we begin to analyze the separate marriages of both Bill and Charlotte. Ibsen says that we define ourselves by commitment, by how we live, think and respond to others, Charlotte (Johansson) is living a life of uncertainty, both in her career choice, marriage and overall direction in life. Charlottes Husband is underwhelming and provides her no authentically shared human intimate experience, a very important factor in her quest for self. Charlotte then meets Bill, a man who can offer her this Ibsinian idea of authentic human experience, which plays with the ideas of ones ability to grow within the social fabric of capitalism and marriage.

Ultimately this tepid affair provides and insight into both characters marriages and on weather they are passionately committed or half hearted in their loyalties to their spouses. Ultimately we are not given an insight into the last words between Bill and Charlotte, we are uncertain even if they are their last words, this realistic approach to the ending of the film brings a raw sense of realism to the storytelling process. The lack of closure to the film is a strong statement that eventually one thing or another happens but realistically we will never know what lies ahead.

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