Last Life in the Universe


Thai director Pen-Ek Ratanaruang’s Last Life in the Universe is a lovely film, if a little out of balance with itself. Starring a handsome, unassuming Tadanobu Asano (the Japanese actor currently appearing on U.S. screens in Zatoichi), it definitely falls into the Moody Asia subgenre that’s gained some art-house currency recently. It’s one of those weirdly pitched oddities — it reminds me a little of a Wong Kar-Wai movie, a little of Takeshi Kitano — that employs brief outbursts of violence as catalysts of and punctuation for the inaction of its primary characters, who spend most of the movie moping around a dark house at the seaside.

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