Watch: Past Lives 2023 123movies, Full Movie Online – Nora and Hae Sung, two deeply connected childhood friends, are wrested apart after Nora’s family emigrates from South Korea. Twenty years later, they are reunited for one fateful week as they confront notions of love and destiny..
Plot: Two childhood friends are separated after one’s family emigrates from South Korea. Two decades later, they are reunited in New York for one week as they confront notions of destiny, love and the choices that make a life.
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Wow. For a director, Celine Song, just coming out of the gate, this is quite an impressive film. The lead actress, Greta Lee, fit the role like a soft leather glove, which speaks volumes, both for her talent, and for Song’s casting. Lee’s Hollywood Critics Association Best Actress award is well-deserved.
Song wrote an excellent screenplay, and her direction turned it into a stunning film. Kudos to A24 for taking a chance on her. I presume they are happy with the outcome. It’s rather interestingly paced in a Buddhist or Asian kind of way – slow, meditative, and more is shown than is said. Overall, it’s not a perfect film, but it’s close.
This isn’t precisely a coming-of-age movie, but the plot revolves around that (perhaps even more difficult,) developing period between the ages of 20 and mid-30s. I’ve held a long-standing belief that our life chapters change every seven years. You know: there are seven chakras, seven days in a week, the Seven Sisters (Pleiades), or whichever mystical seven you’d like. Over the course of three of these “theoretical” chapters, this movie focuses on two relationships in the protagonist’s life, from roughly twenty-one (7*3) to approximately forty-two (7*6). She was married at about the time of a chapter shift (7*5), as if to validate my weird belief. In my world, it all makes sense.
This movie is certainly somewhat autobiographical, even by Song’s own admission. It will be added to my Directors About Themselves list. I can’t wait to see Celine’s next project!
As the son of parents who were childhood sweethearts/soul mates, I tend to be a sucker for movie romances that address this subject. In this case, however, the only “sucker” aspect applies to the money I plunked down to watch this two-hour snoozefest. Writer-director Celine Song’s debut feature has been praised as a masterful piece of filmmaking and one of the best pictures of 2023, but I heartily beg to disagree. When a pair of young, tightly knit Korean friends, Nora (Greta Lee) and Hae Sung (Teo Yoo), part ways from their native Seoul and are later reunited in New York after a 24-year separation, the reunion of these childhood pals provides them with an opportunity to reflect on what might have been. However, their time together consists mostly of a series of overly bloated pregnant pauses, inane dialogue and missed chances to discuss much of anything meaningful, the kinds of scenes that make even the most patient viewers want to yell “Get on with it already!” These “conversations” come nowhere close to matching their joy of their spirited youthful interactions or the heartfelt, substantive talks that later take place between Nora and her husband, Arthur (John Magaro). The result is, quite frankly, a big fat bore that’s trying to be more than it is but never achieves that outcome. Perhaps the biggest problem with this is the film’s truly sincere but decidedly paper thin narrative that doesn’t have the writing support to bring it all into beautiful full bloom, despite some fine performances, exquisite cinematography and an emotive background score. From this, the director would appear to have a hefty reserve of potential stashed away, at least based on this offering’s stylistic elements, but the substance could use some definite shoring up. Let’s hope her next effort lives up to that.
Romance finally feels real
I’m nearly emotionless staring at this screen as I try to piece together my thoughts from a deeply moving film. Past Lives is purely honest, heartfelt, and piercingly direct with the evolution of its story, let alone with the natural growth its two lead characters. The score patiently guides the emotions of the audience, heightened by steady framing and extended sequences from a gorgeous color scheme to create an overwhelmingly tense presence in its tone, but never crossing that line in doing so. You feel the most out of every moment because the film puts trust in the fact that you will. The concluding sequence is a testament to the formatting of this entire story as the writing positions you to finally see and feel exactly as these characters do, and that’s the ingredient that makes this experience so special. A true romance film crafted for our understanding and psychological reflection in 2023 and one that’ll remain timeless for generations to come.
Closure In Love
I’ve always bemoaned how cinema caters now to the children and that there are no adult films. Here is one that treats the audiencem that have the opportunity to watch itm as adults. While it does play like a stage play (most likely because director/writer Celine Strong is a playwriter) it doesn’t take away the fact of the ideas within it.
The story is of two Korean kids, who are in love, by their kid standards. They most likely spent years since childhood walking to school and spending countless days together. In the break, it is an unceremonious goodbye. Words escape them as we would want them to express their feelings. You won’t get that here. Nora and her family make it to Canada, and finds it difficult to assimilate into her school.
Hae Sung, meanwhile, stays back in Korea to go through the mandatory military service.
12 years past. And now Hae Sung curiously has reached out to Nora. They begin an internet relationship which never crosses over to romantic, but you can feel a deep connection. It’s closeness. While Nora has now moved on to New York, Hae Sung is now in college to study engineering.
They spent countless time re-living their lives through the internet, but eventually, Nora realizes this has been holding her back. She makes the difficult decision to stop talking to Hae Sung so they can grow since neither can invest real time together. Hae Sung reluctantly agrees.
Another 12 years past, and we now are the point where Nora is married to another writer. He is an American and, though finds ways to express his love to Nora, there is still a little bit of distance. Since Nora has roots deep in Korea. Hae Sung is a working man now and decides to visit Nora.
The rest of the story is up for you to watch. I will say, it is pretty brutally honest. For anyone who has gone through long distance relationships, loved and lost and then re-connected in some way, what follows in the film may bring up raw feelings. But director Song REALLY wants you to overlook the “what could’ve been aspect” to the idea that there are just people in life you have a connection with, but never can be with them in a tangible world that we can see now. The spiritual nature/philosophical idea is similar to a metaverse concept. But isn’t done in a way like Marvel does. It’s about connections and the inarticulate way we cannot understand why we have these people in our lives.
If you are self-aware of your life, you tend to consider these possibilities. Though the movie lingers slowly, the poetic nature of their silence will either calm you or make you frustrated that it hasn’t moved faster. This movie is VERY much for grown ups. The themes need you to live a life where many people come through your life in order for you to appreciate what the tone of it ultimately means. There are no answers here. Only solid performances by its two leads, Greta Lee and Teo Yoo. They are fantastic in playing thought processes out.
It’s a deep story of love that requires you invest some of your own brain power to enjoy. Feel the ache of love.
Original Language en
Genre Drama, Romance
Director Celine Song
Writer Celine Song
Actors Greta Lee, Teo Yoo, John Magaro
Country United States, South Korea
Awards 4 wins & 7 nominations
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