Last Life in the Universe

Pen-Ek Ratanaruang
Film // October 24, 2016

With an ever-distant aesthetic, Thai director Pen-Ek Ratanaruang chronicles the lonely Kenji, as he spirals into disarray. The film opens with a suicide attempt, a culmination of peculiarities in Kenji’s life–an abusive brother and an aimless lifestyle where books and OCD are his only preoccupations. A chance encounter with Noi and her messy apartment brings a semblance of purpose and romance into both their lives.

The abrupt pacing paired with a hint of surrealism brings a dream-like state into the lackadaisical day-to-day that define Kenji and Noi. Last Life in the Universe is a tale of bittersweets, with enough quirk to stimulate the lulls it occasionally falls into.