I've watched this movie 2-3 times a year since its release. It is at once romantic and mundane, at once surreal and deceptively rooted in naturalism. Its melancholia is comforting. It is a dream on film.
Tropes from gangster films and romantic comedies pepper the story, but remain in the background, as if only half-remembered from other movies. They make brief appearances the way dead relatives or childhood memories do when one is lost in thought. It is a dream on film.
Tadanobu Asano gives his most nuance performance. Christopher Doyle is at the height of his powers as a cinematographer. The score is watery, ethereal. Pen-Ek's inner secrets betray him in the space between the shutter's opening and closing. It is a dream on film.