Month: August 2009

In the Mood for Love

It is a restless moment.
She has kept her head lowered,
to give him a chance to come closer.
But he could not, for lack of courage.
She turns and walks away.

That era has passed.
Nothing that belonged to it exists any more.

He remembers those vanished years.
As though looking through a dusty window pane,
the past is something he could see, but not touch.
And everything he sees is blurred and indistinct.InMoodLove

There’s something strange with Wong Kar Wai movies, the more I watch them the more I happen to like them. Some time ago Chungking Express was my favorite movie, and I had happened to watch it three times. Then came the second viewing of 2046 and it seemed to push Chungking Express behind. And now there’s In the Mood for Love knocking up there, as I watched it one more time.

The magic of Wong Kar Wai’s just seems like a gorgeous dream that just keeps repeating itself, making you remember it more vividly then ever.

The male protagonist, Chow Mo-Wan, once tells his friend that in his country when people want to unburden a secret, they go up a mountain and dig a hole to bury the secret there. But its not some secret that Chow Mo-Wan wants to get rid of, but several feelings and emotions that could not could not reach their rightful conclusion. That’s the end of the story, which begins with Chow Mo-Wan and his next door neighbor So Lai-zhen slowly discovering the infidelity of their spouses and then starts the playful enacting of scenarios of how their spouses could have started that very something which now has brought them together. Little they realise, or may be they fully do, about what has started brewing between them but something hold them back, keeping them form doing what their spouses did, by painting their relationship in colors that their spouses soiled. Well, that’s actually the story, which I guess was all Wong Kar wai had in mind when he would have concieved the idea or rather when he started shooting, as it’s charactersic of his style of never working with any script and developing the story with each scene, often shooting more and then carving the story while final editing.

The movie’s a veritable mood peice, fleetingly moving from one scene to another,  shifting between different hues and colors, yet always blending with the overall melancholic and at times melodramatic texture.  The colors, the music, the different directions. In one scene, titled Last Reunion, both meet in Angkorwat, then there’s another scequence titles Room 2046, where their relationship reaches the level which they always seem to shy away.  hese all threads look to be the remnants of his movie making style but then there was this comment by Wong Kar Wai himself, “the role of Tony in the film reminds me of Jimmy Stewart’s in Vertigo. There is a dark side to this character. I think it’s very interesting that most of the audience prefers to think that this is a very innocent relationship. These are the good guys, because their spouses are the first ones to be unfaithful and they refuse to be. Nobody sees any darkness in these characters – and yet they are meeting in secret to act out fictitious scenarios of confronting their spouses and of having an affair. I think this happens because the face of Tony Leung is so sympathetic. Just imagine if it was John Malkovich playing this role. You would think, ‘This guy is really weird.’ It’s the same in Vertigo. Everybody thinks James Stewart is a nice guy, so nobody thinks that his character is actually very sick“.

Here’s a video reflecting upon the music of the movie.