Past Lives, A Review of My First Korean Drama

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The euphoria, and the addictive pleasure reviews of korean drama fans have for the past few years didn’t seem to sway any interest in me. I simply wasn’t persuaded to the trend. An exception for Parasite, the oscar winning-thriller in 2019. While a friend try to woo me for The World of the Married, I only lasted for two episodes. There is this relentless distraction in certain duration when it comes to a long and winding plot. When Past Lives came in 2023, I decided to see it.

To be frank, the cover of the movie instinctively gave a hint of aura that it is not the typical romantic k-drama. But maybe that’s just a personal interpretation, you know what they say, don’t judge a motion picture by its cover. So without further ado, I press play.

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Easy on the Eyes Characters

Begin with a coming of age-story as Hae sung and Nora or Na Young’s childhood friendship were apart as Nora’s parents decided to leave Korea for good. They try to pursue a better career opportunity by immigrating to the United States. And then the scenes were fast forward to when Nora had the chance to reconnect with Hae Sung in her adult year. The casts were played by Greta Lee and Teo Yoo. Both of them were not only good looking, but the kind of people that were easy on the eyes. Their facial expressions creates a stronger connection to the dialogues and intensifies the scene in different turn of events. There were not any slightest of physical intimacy other than platonic hugs, but their body gesture and eye gaze were so intense ,it nearly drives the audience crazy just to watch the distance between these two sexy creatures.

Escalating chemistry happened in scenes by scenes in this movie. Greta Lee and Teo Yoo succeed in creating an effect so that the viewers grew high expectations for a happy ending. Both, even though they wore costumes so casually, were very attractive. They were beauties in the eyes of so many beholders. Subjectively, and I am not shy to say this, Past Lives is not something you want to pause in the middle.

Oscar Nominated

Distinct from the usual korean drama that have modern type architecture—mostly, indoor settings, Past Lives rely their cinematography inspiration from the living experience of the writer, Celine Song,in two countries. Since this is a semi-autobiography, Celine used to live in Seoul, South Korea somewhere between the 90’s, until she immigrated with his family to the United States.

Subtle art on so many frames and intense,with just adequate amount of words-dialogues are probably one among other reasons of why Oscar decided to include them in Best Original Screenplay nomination 2024. Song wrapped words interestingly to console a broken-heart situation. The very own definition of In-Yun (Inyeon) a philisophical concept of life in korea create a deep meaning and diverse definition. Somehow the script and narrative were even poetic in ways you never expect them to. I will end this review with one of the famous quotable words from the movie below, as a closing mark.

나는 당신이 누구인지 좋아했습니다. 그리고 당신은 떠나는사람이에요

naneun dangsin-i nugu-inji joh-ahaessseubnida. geuligo dangsin-eun tteonaneun salam-ieyo

I liked you for who you are; and who you are is a person who leaves.

Author: Fraya

A writer and entrepreneur with profound interest in humankind research and insights. An avid coffee drinker and book hoarder. Hours and days spent in Jakarta.