In the Mood for Love - In the mood for Wong Kar-Wai
| So you call yourself a film lover and you have never heard of Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar Wai? First of all you should be ashamed. Second, it's time you get out and see one of his films. Trust me, the next time you are browsing through the local video store, if you forgo picking up the latest disposable Hollywood popcorn movie and instead turn to In the Mood for Love, you won't be disappointed.
Now I love a good Hollywood popcorn flick as much as the next guy and I am sure you are thinking to yourself, "why would I want to waste my time watching a slow paced, subtitled artsy film?" The answer is simple; you wouldn't. In the Mood for Love is neither art house or slow paced and has none of those clichés. That's one of the incredible things about this breathtaking film, it has no clichés. Instead it is just one of the most original and strong pieces of film making of the new millennium.
Wong Kar Wai has a great deal of buzz around him right now as one of the globe's most outstanding directors and none of it is undeserved. He mixes a strong visual sense with impeccable story telling techniques that create rich characters and thoroughly worthwhile experiences. In the Mood for Love is one of those rare treats where everything comes together perfectly.
To focus on telling you the story is to ignore so much of what makes In the Mood for Love so remarkable. However, for those who must know what they are getting into, the plot can basically be summed up like this. In the Mood for Love is the story of two neighbours who realise their spouses are having an affair and therefore begin an awkward friendship. Still remember that you are in for so much more than a simple boy meets girl. Like the best filmmakers, Wong Kar Wai catches the beauty in the mundane, finds the extraordinary in the ordinary, and uncovers the truth underneath all the lies.
I won't say any more except to highlight one of my favourite scenes. Our two protagonists are having dinner together for the first time and are self-consciously maintaining their cultural routines. He asks her where she got her purse so that he can buy one like it for his wife. The camera whizzes over to her and she responds that her husband bought it while abroad and it's not available here. She then asks him where he got his tie so that she can buy one just like it for her husband. The camera whizzes back again and he says that his wife bought it for him, similarly while abroad. They both admit that their partners already have these items and the reality of the situation begins to become clear. There is so much happening in this simply beautiful scene. There is so much happening in this simply beautiful movie.
Pick up In the Mood for Love and you will not be disappointed.