Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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Past Lives

Past Lives
Director: Celine Song
Starring: Greta Lee, Teo Yoo, John Magaro
Genre: Passed out

Is it possible for a really good film to also be boring? Past Lives may be the ultimate adult date film, but the personal and relationship-focused conversations drag on and on. It’s probably why so many film critics and audiences are raving about this film – it feels real.

Normal people’s conversations are inherently dull and lack humour, extreme thinking or extraordinary insights. Pretty much every conversation in Past Lives is normal, and so while that means it’s relatable, it doesn’t mean it’s interesting.

For example, if you were in a restaurant or a train and a couple nearby were discussing their upbringing or what they’re doing after not having seen each other for a decade or two you’d not give them any attention. You’d scan your phone, read a book or chat to someone of more interest to you. So that begs the question of how Past Lives captures its audience’s attention.

It probably comes down to sliding doors moments – those regrettable, questionable and/or unavoidable decisions and events which led to one thing happening instead of another. Past Lives prompts those memories and leads you to reflect on what could have been.

It ultimately acknowledges that shit happens. Life is what it is and if you’re a believer in reincarnation then it may also be what’s coming in your next life. That may be rather deep and meaningful, so full credit to the film which may not be exciting or interesting but certainly makes you think.

Rating: Four moments in time

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