SO WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THIS BRILLIANT FILM.
I FRANKLY DON’T THINK THAT IT IS BRILLIANT.
I think the first 100 minutes of the film are masterful. Then it goes on and on and on…
Really lovely.It’s a sequel to “In the Mod For Love” but quite different in tone. Whereas “Mood” was a melancholy romance — with jamesian overtones — this is a film about a randy womanizer who only has himself to blame for missing a chance at real love.
The most exquisite cinematic texture since Sternberg.
I think it has some great ideas but its ambitions don’t match with the execution. I was disappointed.
And with a mesmerising and beautiful score.
I’m an avid self-professed admirer of WKW, but I didn’t enjoy 2046 as much as some of his other films. The concept was interesting, and the cinematography was nothing short of gorgeous (who doesn’t love the WKW/Doyle pairing?), but on the whole it wasn’t as compelling for me. That all said though, I still thoroughly enjoyed watching it and would consider it a good film. Wonderful cast as well — Leung, Gong, Wong, Lau, Zhang and Cheung all in one go! It doesn’t get much better than that.
The score was haunting as well, but nothing trumps In the Mood for Love‘s Yumeji’s Theme for me, even though we have to thank Seijun Suzuki’s Yumeji for that (for which Shigeru Umebayashi first composed it).
I thought it was perfectly all right, but I guess I agree with Myra above. Somehow it added up to less than the sum of its parts, although that reduced sum is in no way miniscule.
A year or two ago I was in a bar hanging out with some friends and some people we’d met that night. I’m sloppy barely-walking drunk, carrying on some bizarre conversation about R.E.M. with a woman who was likewise. She demands I come over to the ATM so we can keep talking while she gets out more cash for another round, and as she’s prompted for her pin number, she turns and goes “THE GREATEST FUCKIN’ FILM OF ALL TIME — TWENTY FORTY-SIX!” so loud that I’m sure half the bar heard it and bangs in ‘2 0 4 6’ on the keypad. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to separate the movie from that if I see it again.
I agree with Myra up until she says it was a good film. In my opinon, 2046 was sketchbook that Wong Kar-Wai seemed to concentrate too forcefully on. He got stuck and made too much of it. Formerly, he admitted to tossing off his masterpiece, Chungking Express , as a quick one-off in order to find stress-relief from making Ashes of Time . To me, 2046 seems overwraught. Purely conjecture, but it seems like he didn’t have a Chungking Express-like project on the side that would chill him out. 2046 has brilliant visuals, an exquisite soundtrack, and it is still a collection of odds and ends that never seem to end, all of which point to typical Wong Kar-Wai preoccupations, and rehash character-composites from his other films.
Christopher Doyle on 2046:
It has been suspected that the tortuous five-year shoot of 2046 marked the end of Doyle’s collaboration with Wong Kar-Wai. ‘How many five years do I have left?’ Doyle confirms, exasperated. ‘Honestly, that’s a big part of it. I think the problem for me is that there are people I care about who are film-makers, and I’m constantly turning down films in the name of this out-of-control, unmitigated situation. The journey has been wonderful, but there are other great, great friends of mine who’ve been waiting for me.’ He seems relieved. ‘It feels like… it’s like a hairball in a dog’s stomach.’
Doyle believes that ‘whatever artists or non-artists we are, basically we only have one thing to say. We just don’t know how to say it, and you’re looking for ways to articulate it.’ 2046 was a kind of sequel to In the Mood for Love, and, he says: ‘I feel that 2046 is unnecessary, in retrospect. I think probably Wong Kar-Wai realised that somewhere, and that’s why it took so long. You do realise that you have basically said what you needed to say, so why say more? I feel that way. I think you have to move on.’"
from An interview of Doyle in The Guardian
While I adore Christopher Doyle’s work I’d be careful about anything he said concerning the work of Wong Kar-Wai since their falling out.
Days of Being Wild – In the Mood For Love – 2046.
2046 seems to be a reflection on his career, a compilation film perhaps.
Love 2046, pointless love and lust is portrayed so well, this intense feeling of idly existing in a limbo of floozies, elongated by the selfishness of the protagonist, that you still somehow like, overtoned by the futuristic novel, and explaining snippets of In The Mood For Love in Singapore.
Why does a movie have to be “necessary”? Why is it so bad for the same statement to (supposedly) have been made twice? I will always want more WKW, whether it’s “essential” or not. And Christopher Doyle’s remarks just feel kind of pissy to me, as if he couldn’t possibly have known how WKW works before he set out on “2046.” Please.
I think “2046” does an excellent job of telling your typical “missed connection” story, but not relying on fate as the easy cause of conflict. Most movies like this are of the “oh we are both well-intentioned people, but just didn’t meet at the right time.” In “2046,” Leung’s character is tragically asshole-ish, not even close to being in the correct emotional state for a sustained relationship. He never even imagines that a time might come in which he’ll want a more permanent relationship. The scenes where he’s just completely oblivious to those cues for him to commit (I’m thinking particularly when the prostitute tells him she’d rather not take money from him anymore, and he says something like “That’s okay, I don’t want to owe you anything”) are some of the most devastating I’ve seen on film.
I also love how this character’s punishment is not to be considered an asshole by the audience, but rather the life of solitary misery that he creates for himself. WKW isn’t looking to editorialize on him. The guy merely gets the existence that he’s made for himself.
being a sci fi nut, i thought this was gonna be sci fi. well, it’s not.
and i was annoyed by the lead character’s endless smirking. i don’t like when Angelina Jolie does it, and that goes double for guys.
the story just drags on forever. wait: there is no story. just an epic series of seemingly unimportant events. luckily, i actually like epic story types, and the ideas presented ring very true. so, it’s not without its charm.
>>While I adore Christopher Doyle’s work I’d be careful about anything he said concerning the work of Wong Kar-Wai since their falling out.
True, but Doyle could still have valid points not based on sour grapes.
>>I will always want more WKW, whether it’s “essential” or not.
How was My Blueberry Nights, Bolo Tie?
>>And Christopher Doyle’s remarks just feel kind of pissy to me, as if he couldn’t possibly have known how WKW works before he set out on “2046.” Please.
Yes, indeed they were pissy.
We’re talking about a cinematographer who’d already worked extensively with WKW. How could he not possibly know how WKW worked, as a director? I love Doyle’s work, don’t get me wrong, but his comments reek of the kind of thing somebody says after a personal falling-out in order to make the falling-out seem like it was not based on personal animosity.
I haven’t watched “My Blueberry Nights” yet, but I’m going to be watching it soon. I’ll let you know once I’ve seen it.
I adore this movie, it is the most gorgeously shot color movie I have ever seen, the colors and the light just sort of flow very lava-like… truly astonishing. I agree that doing a follow-up to Tony Leung’s character seemed kind of pointless, but who gives a shit when the movie is so beautiful. Also, it made me re-evaluate Zhang Ziyi’s acting, since she gives not a bad performance at all in this film, particularly towards the end when she’s aching to be with Chow again and he dismisses her. And it’s thanks to Tony Leung’s skill that a womanizer, superficial man like Chow is still like-able despite the things he does.
Christopher Doyle never dissapoints in a WKW movie but even the look isn’t enough to save 2046. It has the feel of a companion piece. Unlike In The Mood For Love, it simply follows in its footsteps without being a work by that can stand up for itself. It was hard to understand the plot (even-though that isn’t always a con but what’s its purpose here?), much of his storytelling techniques (e.g. use of black and white, metaphor of the whispering of the secrets in a hole) have been done in better effect elsewhere & it just dragged & dragged. If you can’t move an audience with the presentation of the story or the actions of the characters, we must find a fascination somewhere otherwise why else would one watch it?. That wasn’t there either (at least in my pov).
Those who are sayin that Doyle’s decision to dissolve from WKW was a falling out in disguise is hard to believe. He knew WKW’s slow process, but none of his other projects took 5 years! What Doyle said was absolutely true because as much as one can be devoted to a project, they don’t want to spend that long on it. Many in the film industry are likely to be ecstatic once the project begins. Then the attention lingers more and more. Some can continue to eternity (e.g. if Stanley Kubrick needed another 5 years for 2001, he wouldn’t hesitate) but at a point, even if one loves their work, many would just want to quit ahead.
I never thought i would actually have a favorite film.
But… with each viewing, 2046 is slowly inching closer and closer to becoming my favorite film.
Is by far… My favourite “love” movie… I say “love” because for has become a “life” movie… So many details, Is beyond comprehensible How Won Kar Wai express in images the way our lifes changes because of love, and how love changes because of life… His work touches my deepest feelings EVERY TIME!
Loved the realistic way to portrait love frustrations with a background of futuristic images and surreal characters. It’s a movie that makes us feel the deepest and purest amotions, just like Diana said before me. Wong Kar Wai is one of the best – Period.
It’s a disjointed mess. WKW’s triumph is getting a great performance out of normally scratching-the-surface Zhang Ziyi. The future segments fell utterly flat. Critics are enamored with the mood and look of it (Oriental Occidentalism!) but – like other WKW – it’s a lot of style glossed over very little substance.
2046 is the great accomplishment of Wong’s career, a grand summing up of all of his preoccupations and ideas.
The notion that the story is somehow deeply confusion or complicated makes no sense to me. It’s fairly clear what the story is, even if you haven’t seen IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE.
One of my favorites of his works. I found it extremely accessible (Saw it before In the Mood for Love). The science fiction elements were properly sensual.
My favorite WKW movie, nostalgic, emotional, amazing soundtrack.
I just re-watched this, and I liked it quite a bit. The first time I watched this, the gap between seeing ItMfL was quite big, so I didn’t realize the film was a sequel until we see Maggie Cheung’s character towards the end! Having re-watched ItMfL and discussing it at length recently the connections were clear from the get-go (so much so that I wondered how I could have not known until almost the ending of the film).
However, on this recent viewing, the appearance of the Lulu/Mimi character—from Days of Being Wild surprised me. (My first viewing of DoBW came after my first viewing of 2046.) At this point, I’m wondering if we can evaluate any of the films independently of the others. That might be the case, but I haven’t seen DoBW in a long time, so I’m mostly going to focus on 2046 and maybe refer to ItMfL.
Reading through the thread, I understand comments that express confusion or a feeling that the film dragged on. I don’t share those feelings, but I think the film is very complex and hard to follow. (Like ItMfL, I have trouble remember scenes and the ordering of them—part of this has to do with Wong’s approach, which jumps around and cuts pares down scenes—or something.) My hope is that we can clear up the confusion by talking about the film.
I wanted to comment on Christopher Doyle’s remark made above: “‘I feel that 2046 is unnecessary, in retrospect. I think probably Wong Kar-Wai realised that somewhere, and that’s why it took so long. You do realise that you have basically said what you needed to say, so why say more? I feel that way. I think you have to move on.’”
That took me aback because when I considered the comment, I couldn’t immediately dismiss it. In a way, 2046, doesn’t really “say” something that hasn’t been said in DoBW (although my memory of the film is hazy at this point) or ItMfL. But one might argue that it fleshes out the commentary and brings some closure to the previous films.
What is 2046 “saying?” Two themes come to mind (and there might be more):
1. Love is about timing (and Chow, Tony Leung’s character, says this in the film). Finding the right person too early or too late is almost the same as not finding the right person. (This might explain the importance of the clock images, especially in ItMfL and DoBW—I can’t recall if there are a lot of clock images in 2046.)
2. Life is filled with people who love someone else and a lot of people fail to escape the weight of that love (partly because they don’t want to.)
Do DoBW and ItMfL adequately deal with these themes? And is 2046 redundant and unnecessary? I’d be interested in hearing thoughts about that question.
“is 2046 redundant and unnecessary?”
I don’t think so. Even if those are two things we choose to fix our viewings of the films upon, it’s hardly possible to make a single definitive statement on either.
But very few opinions about films are truly definitive, right?
I’m interested in hearing why you don’t agree with Doyle.
In some ways I can see what he’s saying, but I really like the film. Still, I’m not sure if I can effectively counter the charge.
“very few opinions about films are truly definitive, right?”
Actually by “statement” I meant what the films themselves were saying about there themes.
Well honestly I’m not sure what Doyle is saying. One the one hand he says “basically we only have one thing to say”, then in the same paragraph turns around and says that 2046 was unnecessarily, presumably because he’d already “said what he needed to say.” So what is it that he is suggesting that Wong should have done? Not make any more films?
The “sameness” of the three films only exists if you take a very broad view of them. If you get eye level with them, they quite different. For example, what David wrote above:
“It’s a sequel to “In the Mood For Love” but quite different in tone. Whereas “Mood” was a melancholy romance — with jamesian overtones — this is a film about a randy womanizer who only has himself to blame for missing a chance at real love.”