(aka "Ruang rak noi nid mahasan" or "Chikyû de saigo no futari")

 

directed by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang
Thailand / Japan 2003

One day the lizard woke up and realized, that it was all alone on this earth.”

So begins the children’s book “The Last Lizard” and so begins Ratanaruang’s film “The Last Life in the Universe”, with Kenji, who, as the lizard, realizes, that he is all alone. By accident he encounters his spiritual twin, and exact opposition, in Noi. He is obsessive about order, she is spontaneous and throws things around. He is obsessive about being clean, she never cleans. He is introverted, she is extroverted. Yet, as they say, opposites attract, and that certainly is the case here. More than that, their symmetry expands further, as he is from Osaka and she is going there.

More than just a love story, “Last Life in the Universe” is an odyssey into the souls of two people, throughout accompanied by the last lizard. The story itself is thin, at times bordering on cliché, but as it dwells with these quirky characters, we chose to ignore it to drift away with them. Within the universe of “Last Life in the Universe”, time has no meaning.

The major contributor to this is Christopher Doyle, who here demonstrates, in my opinion, his best technical work as DoP to date. Not only is his cinematography breathtaking, but it has a life of its own, where a single frame, one moment can serve as a scene, the next as a flashback, the next as a flash forward, and thus becomes a palette which defies time and structure.

Finally, lets not forget Tadanobu Asano, who seems not only to be the hottest Japanese actor right now, but also the best Japanese actor in many years, even though most use his soft introverted side. Asano gives an impressive performance here, and while I personally favor his acting in “Zatoichi”, both films affected each other in Venice, where Asano was given the best actor award for “Last Life in the Universe”. He is the lizard.

Often compared with both “In the Mood for Love” and “Lost in Translation”, “Last Life in the Universe” only shares relations by single plot elements. It is very capable of standing on its own and easily is one of the best films of 2004.

Henrik Sylow

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 8th, 2003 (Thailand)

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:43:46
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.44 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital Japanese / Thai, 5.1 Dolby Digital Japanese / Thai
Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Behind the scenes (38:33)
• Trailer (2:16)
• Filmographies on Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Tadanobu Asano and Christopher Doyle
• ...
• Interviews:
• - Pen-ek Ratanaruang (English 42:59) (Thai 1:47)
• - Prabda Yoon (1:46)
• - Sinitta and Laila Boonyasak (2:14)
• - Tadanobu Asano (2:14)
• - Christopher Doyle (1:59)
• - Saksiri Jantarangsri (1:54)
• - Nonzee Nimibutr (1:58)

DVD Release Date: November 22nd, 2004
Transparent Keepcase

Chapters 14

 

Comments There is nothing bad to be said about this DVD. Great picture and a lot of additional material, which takes us both behind the film and inside Ratanaruang’s mind.

Over the last six months, Artificial Eye has begun to make other menus than the standard red line and this one is their best to date. Beautiful simple animated images accompanied by piano music and original use of imagery from the film. Thumbs up.

 - Henrik Sylow

 





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Subtitle sample (English subtitles only)

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL




 

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