so I guess there's several different versions of this? the very last scene on the one I watched had Tony Leung getting ready to go out, and the implications on that scene and how it connects to "in the mood for love" are amazing. this film, though, feels like a lesser, though much more ambitious, version of its sequel - the best part about it, however, is just how much better it makes this trilogy, in the long run.
An interesting document of the development of a cinematic great. Wong (and Doyle) does not quite have the polish shown in his later works, but does have the raw, poignant tone of yearning and alienation. It is subtle and beautiful with masterful camerawork that achieves a higher level than its plot implies.
If As Tears Go By was rambunctious and over-the-top, Days of Being Wild is more subdued and controlled. Rather than employing the use of manipulative cinematic techniques in the editing room, Wai simply points the camera at the actors faces and trusts them to evoke the desired emotions with subtle facial expressions and pitch perfect delivery. Silence is used to great effect in this powerful tale of unrequited love.
Interesting development: WKW starts to discover the aesthetic ingredients that would lead to the glorious In the Mood for Love, especially in terms of the clear love for the period detail (including the seedy aspects) and his interest in the unspoken yearnings of his characters and the damaged/damaging way in which they attempt to protect themselves from their own vulnerability. Very beautiful and atmospheric.
We all seek love. The problem is we don't always seek it with the right people, or in the right place, or at the right time. Wong Kar-Wai's balmy and breezy meditation on the subject makes us feel as outside as the outsiders we are watching, and is all the better for it.
A film about the destructive side of love, filled with melancholy, loneliness and long moments of silence that speak more than lines of dialogue, music is used sparingly, only adding to the atmosphere. I love the visual side, how light and shadow are used, and that rain... There's a sense of mystery, dreamlike distant memory, so characteristic of Wong Kar-Wai.
The beginning of a beautiful relationship between Doyle and Wong Kar-Wai, but sadly, it lacks the emotional resonance of later efforts. Yuddy treats the ladies terribly, but they somehow fall for him. The misogynistic intro partly redeems itself when Maggie Cheung's character reveals she knows how bad he is. The noir subplot bleeds into the romance. It may be deep, but it leaves you cold - possibly intentionally...
WKW is here developing his unique style whilst getting familiar with a subject matter that will be revisited constantly throughout his career. Here he is certainly exploring the tracks towards In The Mood For Love, so entwined thematically and aesthetically. But perhaps WKW has not nailed the script yet despite showcasing his prowess crafting melancholic moods, delicate atmospheres, sexy shades and impossible angles.
A rough-edged precursor to 'In The Mood For Love', this often feels clumsy in comparison (the opening chat-up, for example, feels very much like macho wish fulfilment). Rebecca Pan and Carina Lau's characters stand out, with the other leads photogenic but one note. WKW's obsession with claustrophobic, patterned interiors (lit with broken shafts of light) is much in evidence - the camera rarely ventures outside.