Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hong Kong Sorrow

In The Mood For Love (Wong Kar-Wai, 2000)
*** (a must see)

He remembers those vanished years. As though looking through a dusty window pane, the past is something he could see, but not touch.

Set largely in Hong Kong and partly in Singapore between 1962 and 1969. In the Mood for love is about the pinings of two neighbors Mrs.Chan (Maggie Cheung) and Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung). Their spouses are suspected to be having affairs with each other and are always away. Christopher Doyle the director of photography catches glimpses from doorways and behind windows transforming the location to the forefront of the filmic space. The film is told as if it were a romantic memory revisiting the same apartments, streets and offices fusing simultaneous events in vivid montages. As the two neighbors learn more about each other they do not compromise their morals and stay true to their partners. One day Chow Mo-wan take a journalism position in Singapore. This forces them to decide on if they want to be together. Circumstances leads them to part ways and the two decide not to revisit each other even when the situation arises. The film ends in a scene where Chow Mo-wan whisper inaudibly something into a wall. This secret is a metaphor for the things we leave behind in our lives. Then we are brought back to reality with a newsreel of de Gaulle visiting Cambodia and the film ends.

(The Criterion Collection, 2-Disc Set, $31.96)

1 comment:

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