Saturday, December 27, 2014

Last Life in the Universe/Ruang rak noi nid mahasan (2003)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

One of the great things about NetFlix is that you’re exposed to a lot more movies than the average rental store. I came across Last Life in the Universe, read the description and decided to rent it. The movie is about Kenji, a man trying to commit suicide. He’s a Japanese man living in Thailand. He has a past, but the movie doesn’t really go too deeply into that.

One day, his brother drops by. The brother’s friend is a gangster that ends up starting a shootout. Amazingly, Kenji survives. Kenji meets Noi, a Thai woman who has lost her sister. (It’s actually the death of the sister that brings them together.) The two are total opposites, but seem to get along. Kenji doesn’t particularly want to go back to his apartment, so he spends the night. A relationship develops from there.

I can’t really explain too much of the movie beyond that. The movie has a Seinfeldian feel to it, with much of the story about ‘nothing’. It’s just Kenji and Noi hanging out at her place or Kenji working at the library. Eventually, some of the habits that each had rubbed of on each other. Parts of the movie are a little confusing. Some shots were used as a preview or a flashback, but it wasn’t difficult to figure out what was going on.

It’s really the little things that make the movie worth watching. I think that whether or not you like the movie will depend on how these little things strike you. I could see a lot of people either loving it or being bored with it and not finishing the movie. There are some depressing aspects that deal with things other than death. However, there is some room for debate, especially at the end. (My brother and I aren’t quite sure what happened.)

We didn’t really watch too many of the extras. There was one interview that looked like it was filmed in an airport. Still, I have to give this movie five stars. I really can’t think of anything bad to say about it. It’s definitely not a movie for children. There is violence and drug use. However, I’d recommend it to any adult.

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