Rotten Tomatoes

Movies / TV

    Celebrity

      No Results Found

      View All
      Movies Tv shows Shop News Showtimes

      Last Life in the Universe

      R Released Apr 22, 2004 1h 48m Drama Romance List
      90% Tomatometer 40 Reviews 90% Audience Score 5,000+ Ratings Lonely librarian Kenji (Tadanobu Asano) flees Japan to avoid Yakuza who have mistakenly targeted him. He ends up in Bangkok, where isolation and anxiety have pushed him to the brink of suicide. Unexpectedly, he meets free-spirited bar hostess Noi (Sinitta Boonyasak), who is dealing with her sister's recent death. The marijuana-loving Noi is nothing like the perpetually nervous Kenji, yet they form an odd bond over their sadnesses. But Kenji doesn't know the Yakuza have followed him to Bangkok. Read More Read Less
      Last Life in the Universe

      What to Know

      Critics Consensus

      Strange and languid but with purpose, Last Life in the Universe sees two memorably quirky characters navigate love and violence across multiple movie genres.

      Read Critics Reviews

      Critics Reviews

      View All (40) Critics Reviews
      Jeff Shannon Seattle Times It's an offbeat romance that defies easy labeling, recommendable as a film buff's pleasure and a semi-audacious art-house curio. Rated: 2.5/4 Oct 1, 2004 Full Review Andrew Sarris Observer [Reflects] the growing interpenetration of many individual national cinemas into a cultural conglomerate that reflects the irresistible tide of cinematic globalization. Oct 1, 2004 Full Review G. Allen Johnson San Francisco Chronicle The film has a precise, slow pace that allows us to get to know these quiet, quirky characters, and an imaginatively experimental approach to their thoughts and dreams. Rated: 4/4 Sep 17, 2004 Full Review Jean-François Vandeuren Panorama Un film dont les élans singuliers mènent à la fascination. Rated: 8/10 Jul 4, 2007 Full Review Ken Hanke Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) One fascinating -- if not wholly accessible -- movie. Rated: 4/5 Dec 21, 2006 Full Review Pablo Villaça Cinema em Cena Asano é sempre um ator interessante, mas a montagem é auto-indulgente e o roteiro, pretensioso. Rated: 2/5 Sep 26, 2005 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (610) audience reviews
      Nadine O I really love this movie. That's it. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 12/01/22 Full Review nick s Along with Apichatpong Weerasethakul, the Thai independent director Pen-ek Ratanaruang remains the most world acclaimed cinematographer from Thailand. His films might not break the box offices in his native country, but they became very famous in the West. Last Life in the Universe, a joint work of Ratanaruang and genius Australian-Hong Kong cinematographer Christopher Doyle is one of the most well-known Thai art-house films, remarkable for the enigmatic and sublime style. The plot revolves around bizarre relationships of Japanese protagonist Kenji (Tadanobu Asano) living in Bangkok and Thai call-girl Noi (Sinitta Boonyasak) whose house is in the cityâ(TM)s outskirts. They met at the moment both of them witness the death of Noiâ(TM)s sister Nid (Laila Boonyasak) who met a road accident. Kenji bears a tidy lifestyle and appears to be a bit freaky with his habit for tidiness, reads many books and fantasizes about suicide for the reasons never explained particularly. We also learn that Kenji, as well as his brother used to be linked with Yakuza in his past he is trying to escape. Noi in opposition to him is messy and quite nonchalant, though she is also not happy about her life and tries to learn Japanese in hopes of moving to Osaka. The film is trilingual, as protagonists swap from Thai and Japanese to English when needed. They operate with a very basic vocabulary. The lack of words in the dialogues of Kenji and Nid illustrate the emotional distance in their relationships. The non-linear plot doesnâ(TM)t lead you anywhere but shows the poignancy of both Kenji and Noi. Encounter with Noi helps Kenji to replace his suicidal thoughts with new reasons to live, though he would never overcome his freaky tidiness. In the ending, we even see this funny scene of him flushing the toilet and revealing his presence in the apartment where Yakuza hitmen came to chase him. Many scenes of the film are shady, but they donâ(TM)t require a certain explanation. At some point, it is Noi lying on the knees of Kenji, then we see her is replaced with Nid. One can interpret it the way he or she feels like to: the boundless symbolism of Last Life in the Universe assumes the viewers can imagine everything by themselves. The visual signature of Christopher Doyle is something which is hard to fully comprehend in its striking and evocative power. He is the only one capable of cutting such sophisticated shots over and over. His work in this film would later entail something similar in The Limits of Control by Jim Jarmusch. Doyle seems to be really keen on taking part in projects with non-plot structure concentrated on the mood. I cannot remember any film with Doyleâ(TM)s cinematography not striking with the visual brilliance, and he does a great job once again in Last Life in the Universe. One of the best features of this movie is the usage of this soothing and enchanting music. This is a mesmerizing and enchanting addition to the ambiguous story of heroesâ(TM) poignancy and hopes. The last music theme plays on the background silently in the ending for almost half an hour, and it is tingling in your ears and keeps getting you when the film is over. This is probably very essence of Last Life of the Universe that music encapsulates â" the beguiling allure of sublime themes, visual sophistication produced by Christopher Doyle and oblique meaning of the separate story-lines such as the death of Nid or lizard story. To sum, Last Life in the Universe is a touching, mesmerizing and extremely beautiful tale and the great example of South-East Asian art-house cinema. In the Western World, we know quite little about the Thai cinematography, and the masterpiece of Pen-ek Ratanaruang is a great start. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review nefasto r "Last life in the universe" is an interesting and oniric experience. It is about a friendship / love relationship between a suicidal Japanese librarian and a Taiwanese lady. The story, though, is not what matter the most in this film, the atmosphere is. I like it, but the slow pace made it a bit less enjoyable than I would have thought so. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Unique, memorable mashup of crime and romance. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Audience Member Um filme silencioso e mórbido. Entre tentativas de suicídio e interrupções pelo acaso, um rapaz começa a encontrar o verdadeiro sentido da "felicidade" ao lado de uma garota, mesmo que de uma forma um tanto quanto estranha. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/22/23 Full Review Audience Member Tadanobu Asano is perfectly cast in Pen-Ek Ratanaruang's surreal meditation on loneliness carries a great deal of power -- even when it slips into a rather silly yakuza subplot. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/22/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      68% 70% Japanese Story 77% 69% The Cooler 91% 93% Talk to Her 100% 89% Samsara 35% 41% Ask the Dust Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Lonely librarian Kenji (Tadanobu Asano) flees Japan to avoid Yakuza who have mistakenly targeted him. He ends up in Bangkok, where isolation and anxiety have pushed him to the brink of suicide. Unexpectedly, he meets free-spirited bar hostess Noi (Sinitta Boonyasak), who is dealing with her sister's recent death. The marijuana-loving Noi is nothing like the perpetually nervous Kenji, yet they form an odd bond over their sadnesses. But Kenji doesn't know the Yakuza have followed him to Bangkok.
      Director
      Pen-Ek Ratanaruang
      Producer
      Meileen Choo
      Screenwriter
      Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, Pradba Yoon
      Distributor
      Palm Pictures
      Production Co
      Bohemian Films, Cinemasia
      Rating
      R (Violence|Drug Use|Sexual Content|Language)
      Genre
      Drama, Romance
      Original Language
      Japanese
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Apr 22, 2004, Wide
      Release Date (DVD)
      Feb 15, 2005
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $31.7K
      Runtime
      1h 48m