It’s been close to two decades since director Sofia Coppola gave us Lost in Translation, a romantic comedy drama about an aging movie star going through a midlife crisis. But the cult classic film is just as relevant and popular now, thanks especially to the superb performances by lead actors Bill Murray (Bob Harris) and Scarlett Johansson (Charlotte).
However, there’s one element of the movie that remains a mystery for fans. At the end, Murray leans over to Johansson and whispers in her ear, which was totally off script.
The major mystery of Lost in Translation is what he says and unfortunately, we may never find out.
‘Lost in Translation’ was a critical success
As the daughter of filmmakers including the legendary Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia was destined to wind up in the business. She began her tenure as an actor and eventually conceived of her award-winning film after spending time in Tokyo. She wanted to tell a “melancholy” story about two people crossing paths at different points in their lives and forming an unlikely bond.
From the beginning, Coppola knew she needed Murray as her lead, but he wasn’t as gung-ho about the project as she was. After pursuing the veteran actor for a year and even preparing to start filming without a signed contract from Murray, she did eventually get her way, IMDb reported.
Her efforts paid off. Lost in Translation received tons of praise from critics, including winning Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards and nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor.
Murray whispers something mysterious to his co-star Johansson
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Though Murray was originally not keen on starring in Lost in Translation, he later identified it as one of his favorite projects ever. And maybe that has something to do with his ad-libbed whisper at the end which drives fans wild with speculation to this day.
Both Murray and Johansson refuse to divulge what Murray really said. Coppola doesn’t know either since it wasn’t part of the script. Originally, the director planned to enhance the audio in post-production so she could figure out his secret message and possibly share it with viewers. But ultimately, Coppola decided to leave the whisper ambiguous.
It was a smart move. The mysterious nature of the moment makes it an iconic aspect of the film and has fans talking about it even now.
One fan thinks they know the secret whisper from ‘Lost in Translation’
Thanks to modern technology, at least one fan thinks they were able to figure out the secret message even if Murray is still staying mum on what it was. YouTuber Vid Vidor enhanced the audio enough to make out the words, “I have to be leaving, but I won’t let that come between us. OK?”
Even with the dialed up audio, it’s still unclear what the actor is saying, and maybe it doesn’t matter after all. The film remains a culturally significant story that’s all the better because of its central mystery.