Watched Aug 30, 2012
Walter Andrade’s review:
Usually in Wong Kar-Wai films we can see his disillusion about love relationships trough the eye of a lonely character facing problems to solve the unsolveable and often they end up still lonely and disillusioned. Chungking Express starts different from any film he made before, making references to those Chinese thrillers with Yun-Fat Chow such as The Killer, 1989 and City on Fire, 1987. However, the core of this reference is in the figure of the famale fatale played by Brigitte Lin in a awesome performance.
The film treats mainly about the fugacity of the modern relationships, but instead criticizing it, the film presents a possible solution for the problem. There isn't one central love story here but two stories connected only by the presence in both stories of the already quoted female fatale (I don't think there was a name for this woman). Although they are considerably different women, the film's objective is to show this differences from a more comprehensible and optimistic eye, presenting the character as a woman that adapts with her environment and her mate as a man capable of face her diversity.
Christopher Doyle, here, shared the direction of photography with Wai-keung Lau, known specially for his thrillers, but it is Doyle's hands the most impressive part of the film. His work, although not as brilliant as in In the Mood for Love, is still beautiful. I could probably watch this film only for it's cinematography.
Kar-Wai is often labeled as a depressive and mono-thematic filmmaker. Chungking Express is a proof that this label is not true, it's a romantic, optimistic and a beautiful piece of cinema.