I was taken to see Past Lives under the false pretense that it was some kind of rom-com! Past Lives is certainly not a rom-com, it is a romantic drama and I did end up liking the movie a great deal. However, it brought back memories of 2004 when my wife told me that I would like the Phantom of the Opera movie as it was not a musical, but a gothic horror! While once again I was tricked, at least this time I actually liked the movie!
How to Download Past Lives
You can expect to be able to download or stream the film from Paramount+. It should be available about two months after its theatrical release (June 2, 2023). Click on the Download button at the end of this review.
The Movie Review
Past Lives is the feature directorial debut of Celine Song who also wrote the script. I think that this is a fantastic first movie for her to have her name attached to and I would certainly be interested in anything else that she does after this. I knew nothing apart from my wife’s terrible synopsis in regard to what this movie was about before I watched it!
In South Korea, we have two friends, Hae Sung, and Nora and they are very close and walk to and from school every day. They eventually lose touch as Nora and her family move to Canada and she eventually moves again and settles down in New York where she has dreams of becoming a playwright.
12 years later, Hae Song tracks her down online and the two rekindle their friendship via online chatting, but as Nora is so focused on her career, she says that they should just say goodbye. Nora and Hae Song have a clear attraction and connection to each other and you are sure that they are going to end up together!
Things get complicated as Nora meets and marries another man called Arthur and the two of them are happy living in New York City, but Hae Song gets back in touch. He comes to visit and the attraction is still there. We basically have a thing of who will Nora end up being with and does she really love Arthur or does she have a deeper bond with Hae Song?
The title of the movie Past Lives is quite fitting as the movie explains that there is this belief in Korean called, “in-yeon” culture that basically means if you meet someone, you were lovers in a previous life. Look, I am sure I am butchering this Korean concept, but I found it to be very interesting and it is something that does come into play in the movie.
On paper, Past Lives sounds like a very by-the-numbers kind of romantic drama and I will admit in the first ten minutes or so, I was kind of dizzy from rolling my eyes. Yet, I grew to become quite invested in the story, and right until the end, I wondered who Nora would end up with. Hell, to be honest with you, even after the credits rolled, I was not sure and it made for some good discussions on the drive home.
If you want a decent romantic drama to cleanse the pallet of all the big summer blockbusters, Past Lives is perfect! This was a great date night movie for us and I will admit that before I went, I was less than enthusiastic about going to see it. The acting is fantastic, as I said, you do legit start to get pulled into these characters’ lives and care about what happens. You like all three and do not want to see any of them end up hurt.
- I liked our main characters and the love triangle thing that built towards the end
- I thought the touches of Korean culture were very interesting
- The three main cast members are all very likable
- The ending of the movie can be interpreted in different ways
- There were only two other people watching this in our theatre, it deserves to do so much better than it is doing!
- It was a very good movie, but not sure it is one I would be in a rush to watch again