#SheReviews Film: Past Lives

August 31, 2023

SheReviews by Ruth Greening

A modern  American romantic drama,  Past Lives is a lovely tender and heartwarming story as two childhood friends reunite. 

Past Lives is also about lost opportunities to the point I was silently saying……just say what you feel. Yet driven by culture and upbringing these two South Korean-born adults, kept their hearts enclosed in an emotional cage. 

I loved this authentic movie. Film locations portrayed the characters changing lifestyles and living conditions in Korea, Canada and New York. The fabulous actors portrayed strong dynamics between the two, including their silent stares that spoke many emotions.  

The Story  (Spoiler Alert)

Nora and Hae Sung are two deeply connected childhood friends. Classmates walk home together, share their thoughts and their friendship and bond consolidated.  It could be assumed they would be together forever. 

Wrest apart after Nora’s family emigrates from South Korea to Canada, they may be physically separated but the story soon tells how strongly they are emotionally connected. 

Two decades later, after finally discovering each other on social media, Nora, an established writer who changed her name to suit Western society, makes attempts to meet up. But their lifestyles and commitments overrule. In the meanwhile,  Nora meets a fellow writer at a workshop and eventually marries him. 

Needless to say, once again it was years later when Nora who is happily married to Arthur, and Hae Sung finally reunite in New York. It soon becomes obvious that Hae Sung, who recently broke up with his girlfriend,  is still in love with Nora, who also struggles with her own childhood emotions.  

The capturing dynamics between the two are emotional, often silent in speaking their thoughts  as they confront notions of destiny, lost love, and the choices they have made. 

There is a time when Arthur begins to wonder if he is the roadblock to the perfect love story between Nora and Hae Sung but Nora affirms, that she loves him.  

Humbled Hae Sung apologises to Arthur, understanding the love he sees between Nora and Arthur and says they will not speak alone again.

Saying farewell was heartbreaking for them both and Nora’s strong empathic husband proved his worth. 

Cast and Crew  

Written & Directed: Celine Song
Produced By: David Hinojosa; Christine Vachon; Pamela Koffler
Cast:  Greta Lee (Nora) , Seung Ah Moon (young Nora), Teo Yoo (Hae Sung), Seung Min Yim (as young Hae Sung), John Magaro (Arthur),  Ji Hye Yoon ( Nora’s mom), Choi Won-young (Nora’s dad),   Min Young Ahn (Hae Sung’s mom ), Jojo T. Gibbs (Janice), Emily Cass McDonnell (Rachel), Federico Rodriguez (Robert), Conrad Schott (Peter), Kristen Sieh (Heather)

@studiocanalaus, #PastLivesMovie  

In Cinemas  31 August 2023 

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