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In the Mood for Love

In the Mood for Love (2000) by Wong Kar-wai

After finding out that their partners are having an affair with each other, Mrs. Chan and Mr. Chow form a bond, that slowly grows into a wholehearted love affair. First of all, who the hell is willing to cheat on a woman such as Maggie Cheung ! Her beauty, style and mannerisms are drool-worthy. Just the way she walks down the road, as the camera frames her perfect body in slow motion, is so pleasing to all of the senses. Anyway, I kinda have some mixed feelings about the film, and here's why:

The quality of the presentation is inconsistent in multiple departments. For example, the movie's score is one of the best I've ever heard, but, it's unfortunately used excessively. This reminded me of the time I watched "Taxi Driver", and hated how frequently the score was applied. If the music of "In the Mood for Love" was any less good, this issue would have completely ruined my experience. I just wish that the score was used sparingly. Furthermore, the editing during the first act put me through a rough negative start. But later on, the film surprisingly contains one of the best edited scenes of cinema. Same thing when talking about the acting, at times it felt wooden, and at other times it was remarkable.

What's undoubtedly exceptional about the film, is how visually stunning it is. Whether we're faced with Mrs. Chan's colourful dresses, or the redness of the walls, the sheets, the curtains...or we're under the rain along with the characters, we stay hypnotised by the physical beauty of the film. This is all shot, framed and lighted magnificently, so yeah, to say that the movie is a visual feast would be an understatement.

The idea of not having the two cheaters faces shown totally works. This is also a reason for having the rehearsals shot from the back of the characters, visually indicating them playing the other's spouse.

My personal favourite scene of this picture, is the last rehearsal between the two lovers. It was performed with excellence, and even the way Wong Kar-wai lets us viewers realise that it's only a rehearsal, is simply genius. As opposed to the first rehearsal between our main characters, which I thought didn't make any sense, and was only incorporated in order to make every following rehearsal have a purpose.

Overall, my lack of investment in the relationship between the two leads, along with the other problems I've explained, are what ultimately draws me back from loving this movie. Nonetheless, it's a must-see!