Last Life in the Universe

Critics Consensus

Strange and languid but with purpose, Last Life in the Universe sees two memorably quirky characters navigate love and violence across multiple movie genres.



Total Count: 41


Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,032
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Movie Info

Thai filmmaker Pen-ek Ratanaruang directs the character-driven drama Last Life in the Universe, co-written by first-time screenwriter Prabda Yoon. Kenji (Tadanobu Asano) is a Japanese man living in Bangkok. He lives a tidy, silent lifestyle fueled by the detached desire to kill himself. Meanwhile, Noi (Sinitta Boonyasak) is a pot-smoking call girl who lives in a messy house just outside Bangkok. She tries to teach herself to speak Japanese with hopes of moving to Osaka. One day, Kenji walks into his apartment as his brother Yukio (Yutaka Matsushige) is involved in a gun fight with gangster Takashi (Riki Takeuchi). Then Kenji accidentally witnesses the death of Noi's lovely sister, Nid (Laila Boonyasak), with whom he first became smitten at the library. Having nowhere to go, Kenji goes to live with Noi for a few days, leading to the development of a strange and sensitive relationship. With cinematography by Hong Kong-based photographer Christopher Doyle. Last Life in the Universe won an Upstream Prize at the 2003 Venice Film Festival.


Critic Reviews for Last Life in the Universe

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (14)

Audience Reviews for Last Life in the Universe

  • Nov 28, 2011
    This one was quite a light film as opposed to what I was expecting. The story is odd, but not appealing enough. Slightly slowly paced, this flick is neither serious (dark and interesting) nor an out and out entertainer. Watchable, but not a must watch.
    familiar s Super Reviewer
  • May 08, 2010
    Christopher Doyle participates in Thailand's take on Chungking Express. Compulsive decisions and meaningless existences are meant to collide in a journey of epiphanies and self-discoveries. Sounds familiar? Well, Ratanaruang flawless and sometimes Lynchian take on the human psychology delivers the goods with truly believable humanism and episodic interferences of memories and fantasies. Extraordinary and exceptional gem with Takashi Miike as a cool plus. Are you complaining about the small pathos going around the last minutes? Think again. I'm actually not surprised at the ratings of several Flixster users; the lowest they get, the more I am convinced this is a great flick. 96/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Apr 24, 2010
    Thai/Japanese drama about two isolated people hanging out together after their siblings are abruptly killed. I was wary about waching this as I feared it would play out like a cute romantic comedy, but it doesnt in the slightest, just two people getting the space and time to get to know each other in the worlds messiest beachside house. <img src=""> From CEWEBRITY's favourites list
    Lesley N Super Reviewer
  • Nov 24, 2009
    This is a good movie. It's definitely going to have a limited appeal because of the type of movie it is, but honestly speaking I didn't like this movie as much as I thought I was going to. Maybe is its very minimalist approach, not that there's anything wrong with that at all, but there's hardly any dialogue. Well I shouldn't say that, because there are some scenes that are very dialogue heavy, but it just seems like there's little to no dialogue being spoken in this movie. What I did like about the movie is Kenji's and Noi's relationship and how that relationship progressed. It was interesting to see because of the language barrier (even though they spoke in english) and how they interacted with each other. Plus the actors had really good chemistry despite the fact they could not understand what the other one was saying (maybe they did...who knows?). But one thing I did not get was near the end, when Nid started appearing in Noi's place, then Noi reappeared and Kenji never acknowledge this. I didn't get what that meant, but it was all very surreal. I think I'll watch this movie again, I think it's the kind of movie that requires multiple viewings. With that said this movie was pretty good, albeit not as good as I wanted it to be.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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