Ayush Das Adhikary’s review published on Letterboxd:
"It is a restless moment. She has kept her head lowered... to give him a chance to come closer. But he could not, for lack of courage. She turns and walks away."
Your lives intertwined by becoming victims of adultery and the consequential grip of sorrow. You're hopelessly alone, together. Lonely walks on alleyways night in and night out takes over your very being; the camera spying on you down the passageways, on corridors, and in rooms similar to how your neighbours and colleagues gossip about you. Feelings are repressed until your heart can no longer bear to do so.
The warmth of the colours–the golds and the reds–contrasts the cold harsh reality that life has slapped you with. Love is one without rhyme or reason; one moment you're happily married, the next moment you find your spouses slip away. One moment you two engage in grief-stricken conversations enacting your cheating spouses' consummation and your confrontation, the next moment you find yourself wrestling with feelings of love for each other.
Love left you bruised and hurting. Your denial, followed by your apprehension of fate's cruel ways floats on without the cathartic confrontation. The void grows deeper; the abyss of despair seemingly without an end. You have the same tie that her husband does; she has the same bag that your wife does. They're sleeping together while you're both trying to get by in each other's company. Or so you thought.
Finding love where you take solace; feelings can creep up just like that.
Simultaneously acknowledging that you're sad together but sadder apart. Further entangled with each other, confessions lead to chances missed. A new life slips you by and fades into thin air like the secret you whisper into the tree. Oh, what could have been. The failed first step shapes your life from here on. 2046 is the destination you're now shackled to. Yearn for the past forevermore.
"He remembers those vanished years. As though looking through a dusty window pane, the past is something he could see, but not touch. And everything he sees is blurred and indistinct."
Wong Kar-wai foregoes voiceover, instead letting the look in the eyes of Chow Mo-wan and Su Li-zhen do all the necessary talking. Nat King Cole's crooning and Yumeji Theme's palpable sense of longing fill its overwhelmingly despondent yet passionate atmosphere's silence. The slowness with which shots of walking are filmed mirrors the excruciatingly slow nature of their lives after their spouses cheat on them; their knowledge but lack of confrontation makes every minute of their existence painfully prolonged. So many things that I want to talk about but words fail me with this one. Let the film's emotions wash over you instead. As picturesque and poetic as it is painful, In the Mood For Love is an unparalleled piece of cinematic perfection. Wong Kar-wai, you break my heart every chance you get and I love you for it.