In the Mood for Love

In the Mood for Love ★★★★½

What I found most astonishing about this film was not its color or aesthetic (although its use was a complement to the story), but its ability to evoke in me feelings and memories, longings you could say, for human connection.

Although none of us would say we find it acceptable to commit adultery, none of us after experiencing this film can deny empathizing with what the characters are feeling.

Something I have been noticing lately is that the films I enjoy most are the ones that voice and amplify the longings and emotions of the human spirit, whether through a form of cinematic prayer as it were, or through empathy, and often through both. I am talking about films like The Tree of Life (although nothing compares) and Paterson, Her and Atonement, even No Country for Old Men and Shame. These films serve as an outlet, a prayer as it were, through which to voice our own humanity.

In the Mood for Love is one of those films.

It is not the adultery that this film is mainly concerned with. It is the loneliness of, well, being alone. It is about the longing of the human spirit to have someone to stand with, to eat with, to write with, and even, yes especially, to cry with. It is about the need for love.

We are all in the mood for love. The tragedy in this story, in the words of the late and great Roger Ebert, is that they are not in the time and place for love. Is that not the case with many of us? Do we not all deal with betrayal, and the inability to love someone that we so desperately want to love? At times, we must bury that love. But we can never bury the longing, the mood if you will, for love.

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