Exceptional arthouse brilliance, with a fantastically original approach on storytelling and cinematography direction. Dabbed with emotional grip not in the most obvious of ways, but in passing and fleeting moments shared between characters. There is no specific genre, no concrete story, but the theme lingers, the message is felt, maybe not right off the bat but after moments of living and breathing moments with individual characters, via their thoughts and monologues, through their seemingly mundane lives. Addressing love and heartbreak in unique ways that I could never imagine, confusing at times but groundbreaking-ly original considering the time it was released (a freaking 20 year old film!). The narrations of the individual characters are of one of the loveliest elements of the film, ranging from genuine honest emotional revelations to opinions which matter and make sense. Wong Kar Wai‘s brilliant, the beauty in the lines, you can only feel from seeing the characters move through life with their own perceptions on desperation, frustration and love. He meshes and blends those so well with his sometimes awkward transitions of sequences, and yet there is no sense of disjointedness at all. The flow seems just right.
The minute I finished watching I sat in silence, in awe, happy, satisfied and immediately went back to replay scenes over and over again. I was kinda speechless too o__0 because words were jumbled I had no right ones to match. Did I really watch a 20 year old film? Really?! The crap that we have nowadays, even films that try hard to break ground with something different, they just can’t cut it.
WKW is definitely a film-maker in his own league. I now know why In The Mood For Love failed to pique my interest back then (I even thought it was boring, to my chinggus’ dismay!), I didn’t understand, I was young and I only had time for commercial stuff, mainstreams stuff that pandered to the interest and trends of the masses. I know if I’d watched Chungking Express years earlier, I’d immediately cross it off as a movie that tried so hard to be something different. But I guess age and growing up do come with benefits, things that you cannot understand or fail to see before, you’re able to appreciate right now.
This is my second full film of WKW after his also incredibly lovely As Tears Go by (1988), and I can safely say, I’m fully on board his ship. Queer eccentric or different or whatever you may call him, I think his austere writing and directing style is something worth exploring and understanding. I can only thank 2 of my ardent WKWfan chinggus *you know who you are* for encouraging me to give him a chance, a try from the very beginning.
NO REGRETS WHATSOEVER!
Last, the ending scene of the film which I have repeated countless times! Romantic, funny, heartfelt and full of impact. Not the typical grandiose ending of a typical love story, just simple reunion scene between 2 people. Maybe it’s Tony Leung, maybe because his gaze can melt ice-cream, this is a scene I forever wanna keep and repeat! <3333