Apichatpong Weerasethakul – Loong Boonmee raleuk chat AKA Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010)

Though often difficult to decipher, the quiet pace and gentle touch of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s newest film, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, makes for a spiritual and meditative film experience like no other. Uncle Boonmee is ill and his sister-in-law and her son visit as he becomes habituated to the new regiment meant to extend his foreshortened life. Moving closer to death, the barrier between the world of the spirits and that of the living dissolves, and Boonmee is met with his dead wife, his lost son, and of course, his past lives.

Long takes of seemingly mundane daily activities extend what will eventually be forgotten moments, immortalizing their detail and intricacy, while allowing their deliberate pacing to form a powerfully iconoclastic atmosphere. Built on such moments, the audience is forced to reflect on the minute changes in the mise-en-scene, which allows for moments of the supernatural to unfold with patient surrealism. Changes are often so subtle that they are only apparent when fully revealed; the audience can’t help marveling at how such drastic changes and apparitions happened without much notice.

Questions of the unknown seems to be at the heart of this film, especially the search for greater truth. Appropriately cryptic, fears and desires transform into a hyper-emotion. The excitement of discovery as well as the fear of an end blend into one. As Boonmee recalls past lives (and maybe even future ones), his identity becomes somehow more certain. We are not necessarily more privy to his mortal experience, but as his fragmented existence comes together he becomes more serene, and the audience does as well. Finding the meaning of life is futile, but finding peace in the journey is pivotal.

2.37GB | 1h 48m | 1024×560 | mkv



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