When I’m really into something, I tend to babble. I try not to babble in this wordpress, but I’ll take exception to that now.
‘In the Mood for Love’ is a cinematic masterpiece for me. I love Kar-wai’s lush visuals, I love vintage China, I love Maggie Cheung, I love Tony Leung. I love how the story of their relationship is told through different scenes. I love that I often went “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!” the first time I showed it. It’s not the greatest love story ever told, if anything they demonstrated too much too soon, but that’s what adds to its richness and complexity. It was what kept me glued to the screen and blew me away.
For those who aren’t used to the non-linear storyline, the Criterion Collection edition of ‘In the Mood for Love’ has the deleted scenes that made their relationship clearer. It wouldn’t have had the same punch-in-the face effect for me if they included it, but hey, different strokes for different folks.
Kar-wai makes me sad that Shanghai has become a modern megacity. I wish they found a way to conserve the elegance of way back then*.
I loved ‘In the Mood for Love’ so much, I was so disappointed by ‘2046’ when it first came out. Treating ‘2046’ as a sequel to ‘In the Mood’ was like trying to rekindle the old flame of a high school sweetheart twenty years later. It felt awkward and strange, and I saw some spark of the old film, but for the most part I kept second-guessing if it was going to work. I felt deeply disturbed as the end credits rolled. I liked ‘2046’ much better after I distanced it from ‘In the Mood for Love’, and took it in as a movie about non-commitment, and treated Tony Leung’s character as an entirely separate entity.
Part of the 30 Day Meme. Next is Day 3: Your Favorite Television Program.
*Erratum: All this time I thought this movie was set in Shanghai, so much so that when I watched it with a Taiwanese friend, she and I talked about Shanghainese and Maggie Cheung. Kae and wikipedia just corrected me, minutes after I published this entry.