© Splendid/24 Bilder

Press Play and Love Again (Press Play)
South Korea/U.S.A. 2022

Opening 16 Jun 2022

Directed by: Greg Björkman
Writing credits: James Bachelor, Greg Björkman
Principal actors: Lewis Pullman, Danny Glover, Clara Rugaard, Christina Chang, Matt Walsh

What if you could come back from the future to fix something from the past in the present? Curious idea, eh. Director Greg Björkman and James Bachelor’s co-written harmonious yet compelling screenplay is premised on that precise concept. Laura (Clara Rugaard) and Harrison (Lewis Pullman) meet thanks to his stepsister Chloe (Lyrica Okano), Laura’s best gal-pal. He loves to surf, she loves to paint, yet what they most have in common is music, so putting together a mixtape of songs with a special meaning for them is natural. As natural as hanging out with Chloe and Jason (Kekoa Kekumano) who they prefer to Brett (Luke Lenza). Life is good until the accident; Laura deviates from what she cares about most, so it is a fluke that Cooper (Danny Glover) still has their mixtape.

The cast is engaging with Rugaard and Pullman’s characters likable, and their portrayals convincing as they slip between alternate timelines. Glover’s character adds dimension to the storyline, particularly since he “gets it” from the get-go. "Press Play is about expectations and control and how hard it is to let go of them,” Björkman’s quoted in his Director’s Statement. Luca Del Puppo’s cinematography, Patrick J. Don Vito’s editing, and Eldad Guetta’s music are commendable. Shot is Honolulu, Hawaii, guarantees some spectacular settings. In his musically-based romantic directorial debut, Björkman probes into acceptance, grief, and choices. “It never seems you have enough time with the one you love.” Even though the sameness is, that for everyone it is different. (Marinell Haegelin)

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