An Appreciation of Wong Kar-Wai Part 1: In the Mood for Love

in-the-mood-for-love-1Though only recently exposed to his works, this Hong Kong-based filmmaker has already left quite an impression on me. Whether it’s the simplistic yet resonating dialogue between his authentically written characters or the highly stylized and moody camera angles produced by cinematographer Christopher Doyle, there’s something about Wong’s films that just leave you sort of breathless.

In the Mood for Love, perhaps his most famous and critically-acclaimed piece, was the first of Wong’s films that I saw. It is the second installment of the loosely-based trilogy that also includes the films Days of Being Wild and 2046.

Filming was originally scheduled to only last for a few months, however it ended up taking  almost a year and a half to make. Wong’s efforts are obvious as he carefully places you in 1960’s Hong Kong with an acute amount of detail and a soundtrack to die for. I swear every shot, every angle, every scene was like a painting. And honestly, one of my favorite things about this film is just how pretty everything is, that and the chemistry between Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung.

I will say that In the Mood for Love is not for everyone.  It’s slow-paced and there’s a lot of subtle (and not so subtle) symbolism. Still, I think the message of the film and its thematic elements can be relevant to anyone and everyone as it questions the whole idea of love.

Why do we fall in love? What exactly is love? Where does love come from? Is love necessary? While it does bring about these questions, unfortunately this particular movie fails to answer them. And that, perhaps, is not a fault of the filmmaker per-say, but just a fault of being human.


Film Trailer


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