Chungking Express

Chungking Express ★★★★★

The clock had struck midnight. It was April 1, 2019. Faye Wong's cover of Dreams started playing, and I will never forget the goosebumps it gave me. With a sudden outburst of tears, I had just finished watching Chungking Express for the second time in my life. I had also turned 18.

April 1, 2020. Lockdown was in full effect. I honestly don't care all that much about celebrating my birthday, but I felt rather empty having to stay home the whole time. The one thing that made my day substantially better was Chungking Express.

Turning 20 is...overwhelming. Where I'm from, there is somewhat of a constant pressure to 'succeed' in life. I love films because they have been my favourite mode of escapism from all these problems, regardless of their magnitude. "Movies give us twice what we get from daily life", said one character in Edward Yang's Yi Yi, and that line resonates with me to this day. Films are magical.

Wong Kar-wai is a special filmmaker for me. I think about his films every single day. The way he films broken-hearted people is second to none. While In The Mood For Love and 2046 are on the sadder side of things, Chungking Express is the complete opposite. There is loneliness. There are broken hearts. But what Chungking Express has is the sort of life affirming energy that is rarely found in anything. It came to me at a pivotal point in my life, and it just stuck. Watching these people go about their lives, living in a space that's at once real as well as fantastical, is a treat for me. Canned pineapples, air hostesses, chef's salad, California, the emphasis on times and dates, a perfect soundtrack. I'm incapable of "reviewing" it just yet. I love Chungking Express. I love Wong Kar-wai. I love the person with whom I watched this special film. Being 20 sure seems daunting, but films like this will pull me back up if I ever fall down.

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