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In the Mood for Love


In the Mood for Love


As a long time member of my watchlist, and 1 of just 2 movies in this Hall of Fame I hadn't previously seen, this was the nomination I was most looking forward to. Unfortunately, although I thought it was a good movie, that means it will also be my biggest disappointment. I almost had the feeling that this movie was trying to con me.

First I'll just mention the look of the film. I thought it looked great, but not to the level of groundbreaking all time great like I've been led to believe. The girl is always dressed well, the colors are strong, and light is used in such an important manner that I really started to notice it. There's a lot of lamps used to highlight what we're supposed to be looking at. Even when there are apparently no lamps present, light will shine almost magically on a subject, even in a darkly lit room. There's a quick shot of her in a dark cab at night, yet there is a light on her. Much of this felt like trickery to me. I don't mind that really, but it's something I did notice. I also noticed that the locations were dingy. File cabinets in the offices were rusty, and paint in the apartment was chipped and discolored. The film's ability to make these locations look appealing is the reason why I would still give the appearance high marks. I also think it's much easier to do in the close quarters that much of the film is shot in. There are no landscapes or other outside shots that take my breath away.

This is supposedly a romance film but there is no heat. I felt no sexual tension or chemistry between the two leads. In fact, I felt more passion between the cheating spouses when they aren't even seen. I was left with the feeling that the two faithful spouses were not consummating their relationship on moral grounds. I thought this was sort of bogus, especially since I felt nothing between them as I noted before. Beyond that, what they were doing was spending time together, comforting one another, and relying on one another. They were most certainly having an emotional affair, and depending on who you ask, that could be more damaging than a physical affair. I would have liked to have seen the film embrace that instead of trying to make me believe that either something more existed that I couldn't see, or that nothing of significance happened at all. Of course, given the circumstances, I give the two characters a mulligan anyway. However, I did not believe that the two needed to put up some sort of resistance to a physical yearning.

It may sound like I disliked the movie but that wasn't the case. Besides it's appearance, it has a nice overall style and fine performances with characters I did feel for. The score is fantastic and I swear I heard the main music before, at least before the violins kicked in. For a movie of this type, it is very tight and fast paced. I thought the best scene was the rehearsal, and I needed more of that emotion.