Set in Hong Kong, two lovelorn police officers find themselves drawn to two very different women: an alluring woman on the other side of the law and a quirky takeout waitress.
Recently cited as an influence on Barry Jenkins’ Oscar-winning Moonlight, this film from Wong Kar-wai (made during the editing of the wuxia Ashes of Time, working again with cinematographer Christopher Doyle) is a thoughtful, formally-unique look at the transient, ephemeral nature of love.
Feels now like the preeminent piece of 90s nostalgia. Few films seem to so stridently encapsulate a cultural moment, and indeed this is a very significant moment, the many best-before-dates on cans of perishable food reminding us of the waning days of British colonial rule over Hong Kong. The visual style maintains a balance between the frenetic and the restive. Life happens in a flash. Occasionally we must breathe.
It's so stylistic; everything from the cinematography, to the acting, and direction. The frenetic atmosphere makes this a highly enjoyable film. The two halves seem as an homage to classic Hollywood genres; the first half is shaped as a neonoir and Brigitte Lin is the femme fatale. The second half as a romantic comedy is priceless as Faye Wong, in a very Ameliesque way breaks into Leung's apartment So sweet, so good.
Oh goodness, I loved it when he talked to the soap bar and the rag and the apartment. Like poetry, giving inanimate things feelings:
"Did I leave the tap running or is the apartment getting more tearful? I always thought it would cope okay. Didn't expect it to cry so much. When people cry they can dry their eyes with tissues. But when an apartment cries it takes a lot to mop it up."
Wong Kar Wai's best film, even alongside the masterpieces of In the Mood for Love and 2046. Characters feel earthly real, you can feel them and know them. His combination of the musical and the visual is superb as always. His treatment of the moment, which can define two people, I also found a little less harsh than in later movies, even if the undercurrent of melancholy which define his films remains
The search for the beautiful picture, the perfect color, the right framing hardly covers the weaknesses of both script & dialogue. So the urban romance becomes a long - but still enjoyable - ad clip ....
La recherche de la belle image, la parfaite couleur, le bon cadrage masquent mal les faiblesses du scénario et des dialogues. Du coup le romantisme urbain du film devient un clip de pub, mais qu'on peut aimer.
To me personally watching Wong Kar Wai film is like a mental torture in the process. I can't be patient and somehow I'm lost with the characters that are seem out of my spectrum. But his film has post watching effect, followed by unusual life-changing realization. It's so weird.