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In the Mood for Love - Criterion Collection (2000)

Action & Adventure and Art House & International movie directed by Kar Wai Wong

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If you read between the lines it can get very intense.

  • Nov 13, 2007
  • by
This film is a teasing allegory of loneliness and longing. Here is a film without sex, or even kissing -- and it is no doubt one of the sexiest and definitely the most thought-provoking and psychological romance I have seen for a while. In addition to this Maggie Cheung can really sport some beautiful dresses through this film.

Telling the story of two people who coincidentally, live in the same apartment, and are a door away from each other. The film, like and unlike Random Hearts, is about how two people come together via the affair of their two lovers. Only once they receive this news, they take the time to think about the consequences of an affair, and each other's feelings towards having just broken-up -- and whether or not the two people are willing enough to fall back in love.

What's terrific about the film is the way director Wong Kar-Wai, presents each character's way of dealing with loneliness. Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung are both fantastic and Christopher Doyle is simply the best cinematographer in the business watch Temptress Moon (perhaps my favorite ever from him) for more evidence that what I say is true. With Maggie Cheung's character, he'll show her, in a repeated montage: leaving work, going home, watching her neighbors gamble, head to the noodle shop, leave the noodle shop, and bump into her attractive age-equal, played by Tony Leung. This is a clever, if not subtle and knowing technique to present loneliness. For it is when you are alone, when you find yourself falling into a loop. There are many, many close-ups in this movie, I really think this gives a claustrophobic atmosphere to their romance.

This comes as no surprise since the movie does take place in Hong Kong and we get the impression that this is a place where everything is cramped and everyone knows everything about everybody else. It seems like they give as much concern to seeing each other as they are to keeping their relationship within the confines of social standards as well. As I said before there is nothing explicit. It is all percolating under the surface. This lends itself to the feeling that the chaos of the world outside is mirrored by the chaos of their own hidden emotions on the inside. This film was forward to me by my friends who adores Asian cinema in return I will highly recommend this to you.

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More In the Mood for Love - Criteri... reviews
review by . October 19, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
One of the reasons I love Wong Kar-wai is that he has an amazing ability to write good smooth dialogue. Even if the film lacks in other areas like picture quality for one, he takes your mind off of that by focusing on these characters and their cool conversations. He creates what I believe are magical scenes of emotion between these characters with his charming writing. The actors he casts are perfect, no wonder why he sticks with them. Especially Tony Leung who sets the mood with his smooth style …
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About this movie


Winner of numerous awards including Best Actor at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival,In the Mood for Loveconfirmed that Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai is a major figure in world cinema. As passionate as it is politely discreet, his film takes place in 1962 Hong Kong, where neighboring apartment dwellers Mr. Chow (Tony Leung) and Mrs. Chan (Maggie Cheung) discover that their oft-absent spouses are having an affair. This realization parallels their own mutual attraction, but fidelity and decency ensure that their intimate bond remains unspoken though deeply understood. With a stealthy, eavesdropping camera style and a screenplay created through spontaneous on-set inspiration, Wong Kar-wai crafts an intricate, finely tuned platonic romance, enhancing its ambience with a kaleidoscope of color (most notably in Cheung's dazzling wardrobe ofcheongsamdresses) and careful attention to character detail. Deservedly placed on many critics' top 10 lists, this elegant film should not be missed.--Jeff Shannon
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Director: Kar Wai Wong
Genre: Foreign
Screen Writer: Kar Wai Wong
DVD Release Date: March 5, 2002
Runtime: 98 minutes
Studio: Criterion
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