In the Mood for Love

In the Mood for Love ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Mr Chow and Mrs Su who were neighbors developed an unique relationship after learning that their spouses both were having affairs.

The story telling and its execution were both smarter than its premise. A story about spouse having affair? Err....sounded boring but really it did not. The movie told a story about their respective partner was having affair so they were curious why and how they had affair. They tried to be in the shoes of their respective spouse's affair to see what they like. They also try to re-enact the scenes where their spouse was having an interaction with their affairs. The exploration of this concept successfully conveyed some of the deeper messages about relationship and marriage and surprisingly brought up some humor. The way that this movie made us looked at marriage and affair from the partner's perspective, either husband or wife and the development of platonic relationship between 2 lonely, lost and damaged man and woman really worked in this movie. I was really engaged and invested from start to finish.

The direction of this movie was really slick and strong. The visual style of this movie was gorgeous and memorable. 2-3 days after seeing this movie,I could still remember how vivid and vibrant the color of the movie and some of the artistic choice of this movie. I was pretty sure that it would stayed with me for as long as it got. The camera movement in this movie was really smooth and stylish. It gave the movie some sort of fresh feel to it that I really loved. The editing in this movie was very precise and crisp. The music and score of this movie were great. I loved them. They fit the time period and the story of this movie perfectly.

You couldn't talk about this movie without mentioning the 2 main characters in this movie- Maggie Cheung as Mrs Su and Tony Leung as Mr Chow. Their performances were as beautiful and sorrow as you could ever imagined. Maggie Cheung's performance was just straight up powerful, her range in this movie was unbelievable. There was a scene where she was re-enacting a moment with Mr Chow while eating a meal. Her performance just blown through the roof. Tony Leung at the other hand gave a great subtle performance which earned him the best actor in Cannes Festival. His performance was more subdue compared to Maggie Cheung's character but you could injected so much emotions into his character through the story telling. His really subtle eye movements and slight to almost none flickering in facial muscles really worked. It was a type of performance that you could understand and explore his inner feeling instead of just put it all out on his face. Their contrast of characters and the chemistry they had together carried the movie.

For the negatives, I thought for the first 20-30 minutes, it was a bit bizarre. I went with the ride but you was confused with what was going on really and who was this lady and who was that lady. Where did this event happened and did they just shifted to the next door in this scene? After that 30 minutes or so, you would got use to it and perhaps on re-watch it would not be a problem. The second problem I had was the ending. I wasn't entirely sure why they showed the TV news and the scenery shot of Cambodia for that amount of time, perhaps a hidden meaning or metaphor there which I had missed. I thought that the movie could just shaved off that extra 1 minute which just felt slightly tagged on and unnecessary. Other than those 2 minor flaws, I thought this movie was great.

Overall, this was a beautiful movie that was written and directed well. The performances by the main leads were great. The pacing was just right. On re-watch, I could felt that this movie would be better and I would enjoyed it even more.

Rating: 8.3/10