ena’s review published on Letterboxd:
'in the old days, if someone had a secret they didn't want to share... you know what they did?'
'have no idea.'
'they went up a mountain, found a tree, carved a hole in it, and whispered the secret into the hole. then they covered it with mud. and left the secret there forever.'
'what a pain! i'd just go get laid.'
'not everyone's like you.'
what a great reminder of my loneliness right in time for valentine's day!
i don't think a movie has ever managed to make my heart feel so tender, yet so empty at the exact same time. besides how stunning it is visually (i have never seen such beautiful reds and greens in a movie), this story is one that fills you up with such a weird mix of emotions.
it's such a beautiful doomed romance, and such an entertaining "what if". it's beautifully confusing at times, until it reveals its true intentions a few seconds later - which leaves you in a position of not knowing whether you actually want to find out the truth or not. there are moments when you are not entirely sure which combination of mr./mrs. chan and mr./mrs. chow you see enacted on screen, and that only makes the subtle glances, touches or simple leans become more painful.
in every moment where a character is vulnerable, the angles decide to make you feel like you are spying on a conversation, or that you are suddenly extremely claustrophobic. there's always a wall taking up most of the shot, a person is enclosed by a frame from all sides, you see things through a mirror, you see things as if you would be hidden in the same room as them - there's no point where you are allowed to fully enjoy the tenderness of moments. there's always the pressure that someone could be watching, and i couldn't have imagined a better way of conveying this through film.
as said in the movie, there is no reason for feelings. and there is no moment that you can attribute feelings to, they're just kind of there, until they decide to make themselves known. and in the mood for love feels like such a beautiful secret, that never quite manages to make itself known enough for a chance at happiness.