These are a few of my favorite things: #40 (Last Life in the Universe)
Opening Scene n lines: “Why do i want to kill myself? I don’t know. I wouldn’t kill myself for the same reasons as other suicidal people. Money problems…broken heart…hopelessness…no, not me. Many books say “death is relaxing.”did you know that? No need to follow the latest trends, no need to keep pace with the rest of the world. It’ll be like taking a nap before waking up refreshed and ready to begin your next life. That’s what they say; “this is bliss.”
This is the story of Japanese guy Kenji, working in Thailand, who is always thinking about suicide & trying to commit suicide, though half heartedly ‘cos he never quite succeeds. One thing or another distracts him at the last moment n then the mood is gone!!
He loves reading books. His home is almost a library. He is introverted & super organized.
His brother works for a Don(mafioso) in Japan. Bro sleeps with Boss’ daughter n Boss now wants him killed. Brother flees n comes to Kenji’s Apartment. At that very moment Kenji was preparing to hang himself. As he is about to tighten the noose, the doorbell rings & the brother Arrives!! The Don sends a hit man to kill the bro. Hitman kills the bro n Kenji Shoots the hitman.Now this is a bit strange n paradoxical. If Kenji really wants to die he would have let the hitman kill himself too.
By some twists & turns in fate he meets a girl Noi, who has recently lost her sister in an accident & holds herself partly responsible for it. Kenji moves in with Noi (‘cos two corpses are now lying in his home)n a beautiful friendship is formed. They are eventually romantically involved. Noi has to soon move to Japan. Noi’s Apartment is as as messy as Kenji’s is organized.
The story is extremely gripping.Both Kenji n Noi are interesting, eccentric n likable. Though it with dark material it is extremely humorous. The humor is subtle n situational. 3 comedy scenes stand out for me. One, when the bell starts ringing as Kenji is about to kill himself.Two, Kenji starts reading a Japanese book in the bus, another Japanese man starts to talk to Kenji seeing the book. Kenji is in no mood to talk n he gets down the bus, suddenly just to avoid the man. Three when Kenji’s brother’s boss is at the Airport, he is coming to Thailand to shoot Kenji to revenge his hit man’s death at the hands of Kenji n this conversation transpires between the Don n check in girl:
Japanese/Thai Movie: Last Life In The Universe,
Director: Pen-ek Ratanaruang,
Cast: Tadanobu Asano, Sinitta Boonyasak,
Director of Photography: Christopher Doyle