Last Life in the Universe (2003)

I’ve been holding off on writing about this film because I wasn’t quite sure what to say about it.  It’s a film about perception of reality, though on the surface it is about suicide, love, life, living & relationships.

This film reminded me of a Haruki Murakami novel because of the mystery that unfolds for the viewer.  As the film progresses, the viewer sees that what was presented before has now changed, and what this new reality is, is an unstable one for the viewer but maybe not for the characters. Or maybe it is just as unstable for them as it is for us.  It is very much in the same vein as another film I wrote about on this blog, Open Your Eyes (and of course, Vanilla Sky, Mr. McG!)

The film is set in Bangkok, Thailand and the protagonist is a Japanese man (Kenji) who works as a librarian, and a Thai girl (Noi) who is a call girl/prostitute.

Reality comes into question when the viewer gets a glimpse of Kenji’s brother’s full-back tattoo, and later Kenji has this same full-back tattoo. Whether the brother ever truly existed is a matter up for debate, I suppose.  Also, when Noi and her dead twin sister become interchangeable to Kenji without a second glance from him, it becomes clear that something is rotten in the State of Kenji’s mind. 

All I know is that sometimes it’s nice to watch a film and at the end of it I look at D and say: what’s that supposed to mean?!

In many ways, I think this film has some loose intellectual ends, though it was creatively done.

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