This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Callan’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
A common word one will come across whilst reading attempts to describe this film is “yearning”.
Hopefully you caught it, but there were two understatements in that sentence, both “yearning”, and “film”.
Foremost, “yearning” barely begins to break the barrier of how In the Mood for Love conveys feeling. To yearn is to long for something separated, however, the two leads, the two halves of our broken heart, are hardly separated, at least physically. They are bound together by tragedy, yet pulled apart by moral piety. Is bliss worth becoming the same as “them”? Would it even be considered “bliss” at all at that point? Why not simply enjoy the forbidden glances in between visits to the noodle stand, or the “platonic” creative conclaves within the red-drenched corridors of the hotel enclaves? For as decided by yourself, such moments are all you have—such moments that dance in the grey area of innocence, under the candlelit light of lust and impulse.
Second, to describe In the Mood for Love as just a “movie” is to discount the heartbroken torment of lovers everywhere. Rather, In the Mood for Love is a feeling, a “mood” as the title suggests. It is a serenade of sadness, and of the senses. You can feel every moment of it as you observe with a glowing, ardent gaze.
Here, to observe is to coexist in yen, to pass by in temptation, and to forget.
Here, to observe is to love, to detach, and to remember.
Here, to observe is to ache, to confess, to plug with mud, and move on, for the ancient ruins of a once broken heart will never forget what could have been.