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Showing 1-10 of 14 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 50 reviews
on November 26, 2004
Pen-Ek Ratanaruang's 2003 film, Last Life in the Universe, is an intelligently crafted drama of two polar opposites who meet under unusual circumstances. Kenji, Japanese, is living in Bangkok, and is a suicide-obsessed neat freak librarian whose brother is a yakuza. The brother, played by none other than Mr. Intensity himself, prolific Japanese director Takashi Miike, comes to the librarian's apartment to hide out for a short time but while there, tragedy ensues and Kenji has to leave, fast.

Noi, a native Thai (the director is Thai) is arguing with her younger sister in the middle of traffic. When they stop in the middle of a busy thoroughfare, yelling at each other, Noi telling her sister to leave, tragedy of a different kind occurs and Noi is left completely numb.

Noi, as it happens, is a total slob. When these two meet--both in their 20s--there's a halting, push-pull back and forth that is underscored by lack of familiarity with the other's language. They speak to each other in hesitant English that gives their attempts at connecting to each other a much greater poignance and heartfelt feeling than if they'd been both Thai or both Japanese.

The subtlety of this connection is so sensitively created that it is a real pleasure to watch this film, to see two mismatched people try to converge emotionally. In one brilliant scene, Noi lies with her head in Kenji's lap and for a brief moment, we see not Noi lying there, but her younger sister, now gone.

Interestingly enough, this film was submitted to the Cannes Film Festival at the same time as Lost in Translation with similar thematic elements and is, in my opinion, a far better film. Unfortunately it did not win anything. The director's previous work, which has garnered strong praise from various sources, is, alas, not available domestically; it definitely should be.

UPDATE: Good news! The comedy 6ixtyNin9 by the same director will be out domestically in January 2005.

A beautifully made film that should be seen by those tired of American cinematic cliches and want something fresh, original, and unique.

Very highly recommended.
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on November 11, 2016
Romantic, gritty, lush. Loved the characters and their actors. Shocking, charming.
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on December 27, 2008
Quite surprised by how much I enjoyed Last Life in the Universe. The clash of Thai and Japanese cultures as the back drop for a suicidal Asano's search for purpose made for an enchanting story.

While it won't please a mainstream, those of us who are beguiled by melodic pacing and understated Asian acting will love the interaction between the two main characters.

If you have seen and enjoyed "The Taste of Tea", "Sonatine", or "The Man on the Train" then this is the film for you.
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on February 12, 2013
This was a really great movie. I originally thought a movie about suicide would be more depressing. Though some of it is, there' a lot of emotion and great character development. I really love the two main characters and how you see them cope with life and how their bond develops.
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on May 11, 2013
Many portraits of the moment to reminisce. Ethereal quality flowing throughout. Amazing visual creations of psychic interiors. Understated perfections! 1 more word required! Oh yeah, I do no remember ordering this item???
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on June 26, 2007
The combination of Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Asano Tadanobu, and Christopher Doyle is absolutely electrifying in as subtle a way as possible. Ratanaruang delivers a masterfully told boy-meets-girl story without all the chick flick mooshy-ness. It's the silence in this movie that speaks louder than the dialogue. Doyle's magnificent eye for shot composition helps that aspect, as well. Asano is, in my opinion, among the top 10 actors alive and he proves it with the portrayal of the main character. Watch 'Ichi the Killer' to see the opposite end of the spectrum of his abilities. Also, keep an eye out for Takashi Miike and his posse of typical actors in 'Last Life...'. Birds of a feather truly do flock together.
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on July 13, 2015
Excellent product and service!
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on March 3, 2010
The film is a beautiful piece about how in moments of great frustration and alienation, life and, more importantly, love can be thrust upon us, radically altering our worlds. The use of vivid cinematography and elements of magic realism create this altered visual state.
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on February 15, 2009
A quietly funny movie chronicling an obsessive complusive potential suicide's return to life through a quirky relationship with a Thai woman. The funny observations of the lives of these characters outline the desperation in both of them. Well worth the time invested.
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on October 30, 2014
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