What you need to know:
‘Past Lives’ will soon be released in Mexico and we want to tell you why it is one of the best films we have seen.
At . we have talked a lot about Past Lives…but not enough when it comes to one of the best movies we saw in 2023 and one of the best love stories of recent years.
And why haven’t we talked enough about Past Lives? To begin with, because the film has not been released in Mexico. It will arrive in theaters until February 1, which is great news. And secondly, because speaking requires revealing aspects of its plot that do not represent some kind of spoiler or something similar, but they do. director Celine Song’s understanding of love.
But considering that Past Lives It’s just about to be released and there has been a lot of conversation about it during the awards season, it’s time to talk in depth about this film and why we think it is great.
Past Lives and love to the present
Past Lives It is a movie written and directed by Celine Song in her debut. It stars Greta Lee, Teo Yoo and John Magaro like three people who, in the immensity of two cities, love each other. But not everyone loves the same thing.
Instead of turning it into a tragedy or a huge romantic drama (like a tacky love triangle), Song turns it into a reflection on time that is built based on the people who appear in our life(s).
Na Young is a 12 year old girl who lives with his family in Seoul. His best friend, who is also The boy he likes is Hae Sung. They study together, walk home, look at each other when they cry, and play. But all this ends when Na Young’s family decides to emigrate to Canada. And so, the relationship between them ends with a “Goodbye” that marks a distance of 12 years.
Then we see Nora (the name Na Young assumed in the West) on her way to New York where she wants to build a career as a playwright. One day, she discovers that Hae Sung has been searching for her on social media, and they regain contact through long video calls and confessions.
Inevitably, the breakup comes because the distance is unsustainable. After agreeing to stop talking for a while, another 12 years pass. And once again, Nora and Hae Sung meet, but now not as children, nor through a screen, but in person.
Past Lives refuses to idealize the past
The thing is Nora has been married for many years to Arthur, a Jewish writer who embraces the idea of a lifelong love, one that was born from childhood. And with this, he understands that not all love stories are ideal.
Although there are relationships that arise and are based on love, They are built from the decisions that are made in life everydaywhich leaves little room for romance, or rather, the idealization of life as a couple.
And here lies the beauty of Past Lives: It is a film about life that does not idealize the promises or desires of the past, but rather shows us characters who live in the present. and love what’s in it.
Nora misses Seoul in the presence of Hae Sung, but does not want to return to the Korean capital; Hae Sung thinks about the girl he met when she was 12, but he doesn’t try to turn Nora into that figure; and Arthur, among this, becomes the key piece of this story by assuming a different role for both Nora and Hae Sung.but never in a literal sense.
Arthur is a dream for Nora. She meets him when she goes to an artist residency where Arthur will also be present. While she sleeps in her room, he arrives. Without being corny, Arthur arrives in Nora’s dreams and they fall in love because they understand each other. Yeah, Their relationship over 12 years has been functional for both, but it is just that understanding of each other’s lives and their needs what makes their marriage so idyllic.
Instead, Arthur is a reality for Hae Sung. When they meet, one tries to speak in Korean and the other responds in English, but the conversation breaks down due to the inability of the two to elaborate their ideas and feelings in a foreign language. There is admiration on the part of bothyes shared by being present in Nora’s life. And that is their reality: Arthur is Nora’s husband.
In Past Lives the characters talk about In-Yun, a Korean concept that raises the idea of destiny. They explain it in the following way. If you walk on the street and your clothes rub against someone else’s, it is because you met in a past life. If two people get married, it is because there are 8 thousand layers of In-Yun from 8 thousand past lives.
Celine Song It does not dramatize the painful idea of “what could be” or “could be”, which is so frustrating because we have seen it in so many other movies, series, books or whatever you can think of. But the director focuses on the present and how wonderful but at the same time complex it is to decide every day (what was decided yesterday and will be decided tomorrow) stay with a person.
And be careful, what Past Lives It does not raise the idea of destiny as something obligatory or from which we cannot escape. In this story, destiny implies freedom and love; the freedom to stay or leave because either of the two is an actor of love.