Photo credits to rightful owners

[Review] Past Lives

In this week’s cinematic journey, we invite you to explore an indie masterpiece boasting a stellar ensemble cast and a profoundly heartwarming narrative that contemplates life’s twists and turns. Join us as we delve into the soul-stirring 2023 film, ‘Past Lives.’

A Tale of Rekindled Bonds

Written and directed by the talented Celine Song, ‘Past Lives’ weaves the touching tale of two childhood friends who find their paths crossing once again in adulthood.

Nora, portrayed by the exceptional Greta Lee, and Hae Sung, brought to life by the charismatic Teo Yoo, shared an unbreakable bond during their formative years. Yet, destiny intervened when Nora’s parents made the life-altering decision to emigrate, chasing the elusive promise of a better life.

Reconnecting Through Time

A dozen years pass, and the echoes of their shared past prompt Nora and Hae Sung to reconnect, thanks to the wonders of modern technology. Frequent video calls rekindle their friendship, eventually evolving into something deeper. But as Nora, now a resident of New York pursuing her dreams as a writer, strives to achieve her goals, she makes the painful choice to cut ties with Hae Sung.

On the other side of the world, Hae Sung decides to forge ahead with his own career, immersing himself in a language exchange program in China and finding love along the way.

A Reunion of Changed Souls

Another twelve years elapse, and the paths of these old friends cross once more. However, life has dramatically transformed them both. Nora is now happily married to a man she met at a writing camp, relishing a life filled with happiness. In contrast, Hae Sung, fresh from a breakup, ventures to New York to reunite with Nora and meet her husband.

During his brief visit, Nora and Hae Sung embark on an emotional rollercoaster ride, revisiting memories of their youth and contemplating what might have been. Alongside heartfelt conversations and a flood of emotions, Hae Sung poses a poignant question to Nora: What do they think they’ll become in their next life?

Embracing the Present

‘Past Lives’ unfolds as a beautifully crafted narrative that explores the intricate fabric of life, its unexpected turns, and the art of acceptance. The characters, brought to life with exquisite nuance, undergo profound development and growth, rendering them strikingly relatable and inherently human.

This film delves into the universal doubts that often haunt us about the choices we make and the unpredictable pathways life presents. It gives voice to thoughts and emotions that many have experienced but few have dared to express openly.  The performances are a symphony of raw, authentic emotions, making ‘Past Lives’ a must-watch for anyone seeking a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant cinematic experience.

You can catch a glimpse of its brilliance in the trailer below.

K-Beauty enthusiast, Drama Lover, Melophile and Foodie, writing about her faves on a daily basis.