What did Bill Murray say at the end of “Lost in Translation”?

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” was like that for me, for some reason. Maybe it stems from a time in my life where I was living and working in Tokyo and spent many days and nights at the very Park Hyatt this was filmed. Usually meeting with Western colleagues to de-cipher and untangle the day’s events and interchanges with my Japanese colleagues.

It had great appeal to me, despite the nature of being very much on my own there. I could relate to Murray’s character and the Japanese scenarios were almost too realistic making me cringe at points.

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 a 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 TV commercial, and 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. Someone took the scene and digitally enhanced the sentence that Bill Murray whispers to Charlotte and posted the video on YouTube. Sorry the link is no longer on YouTube.

It was 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?


13 thoughts on “What did Bill Murray say at the end of “Lost in Translation”?

  1. i’ve never seen this movie but you just convinced me to watch it.  🙂   from a complete newb, based only on the description you just gave, and especially on her smile and tears after that line, i say they end up together.

  2. I am so obsessed with this movie that i searched it here at xanga too coz i just wrote an entry about it. =)in my opinion, i don’t think it’d be as good if they ended up together. i think it’s better that they just go back to their own lives but have their memories forever.and i think it’s also good that we didn’t really hear what Bob said, and it still didn’t make any difference to me when i found out what he said. i just LOVE this movie.

  3. This is one of my favorite films, and I was glad to find your post as this was exactly what I was looking for…those last whispered words.To address your question, I don’t think “don’t let that come between us” is referring to an actual us, as in anything other than what they already had together. Murray, or, Bob Harris, had already cheated on his wife. If it was just about that, Harris and Charlotte would have slept together already…but their relationship was different. I think the “us” means the time they spent together, the fact that their is comfort for lonely souls, etc. I love that they never consumate anything…it’s what makes this movie what it is.

  4. I think one of the best,most simple films i have ever seen.The end scene is one that can be lived by all of us,as we have followed the film to the end and feel the emotions of both characters and understand them. if we were bob in that end situation we would make our last words count,to comfort and reasure each other,before we parted for the last time.sometimes the most simple things in life can be the most hard hitting.

  5. WILDER BILL      I have really liked this movie from the first time I saw it. I’ve seen it many times since. A referance of the movie even appeared on the show “Family Guy”!!! The guys were at the bar drinking and decided to go to the movies and “Lost” was playing. As they were walking out, they were discussing “what do you think he whispered in her ear at the end”? COOL, HUH? WB

  6. I think he’s saying look, ” we’ve had a connection where nothing else matters. Not age not marriage not sleeping with another woman the other night. All that matters Is that special connection we shared and whether we cross paths again or not is unkown but you’ve made a special place in my heart and that place will be there for you forever”

  7. Simply go to IMDB, search “Lost in Translation” and you will find out what Bill said to her in reality….It has something to do with a future meeting between them and Johannson’s husband…check it out

  8. I saw this movie for the first time about 3 months ago; knew of the title but had no idea what it was about.  Since seeing it, I have been so intrigued by it that I’ve watched it several times.  They are definitely going to see each other again.  That’s why Charlotte walked away smiling.  It’s the perfect ending to a movie that a lot of people can relate and frankly I’d much rather see a sequel to it than another Superhero movie.  But unless it’s done perfectly, it will cheapen the original.

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