amrit’s review published on Letterboxd:
some things I noticed this time around:
- the film's main musical theme almost always plays during scenes that are either filmed in slo-mo or have Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung together, I guess the song represents love? and every scene with this song is often interrupted in a rather jarring way like there's more to the scene but it's been cut off. ig this sort of represents their relationship? it's clear they're madly in love with each other but at the same time their moral/ethical code won't allow them, but that's not the only thing restricting their love: it's the societal norms, and above all, their pesky neighbors. there are 2 cuts in this, both following one of 'romantic' scenes, both are of Ah Ping: the first cut is around the beginning of the film, after (IIRC) Mr. Chow and Mrs. Chan's first encounter, and it's of Ah Ping gushing of how beautiful Mrs. Chan is. The 2nd is right after Mr. Chow and Mrs. Chan start writing their martial arts serial, and it's of
Ping(very drunk) being carried through a door. i believe he is a sort of composite of everything holding Mr. Chow and Mrs. Chan apart.
- every time Mr. Chow and Mrs. Chan meet(and not just the usual hi/hello/smile) is at night. ig this could sort of represent some kind of mr jekyll/dr hyde type of situation. during the day when they see each other they are under a facade. during the day they're everything others want them to be, and during the night is when they're what they want themselves to be? idk. there's a street corner here that was given a lot of attention. this street corner is always raining at night. the only times we see this place at night are when Mr. Chow and Mrs. Chan are there. one of these 'encounters' immediately transitions to the daytime, where Ah Ping walks through as if nothing has ever happened. their meetings/encounters never happen in the open. i hesitate to call this a love affair bcse they always seem like they're on the verge of doing something big, of kissing, of sleeping together. Tony Leung grabs Maggie Cheung's hand and then lets it go, like he wants this affair to happen, but at the same time, he doesn't.
- red is, in fact, used very sparingly used in this. the only times we see the color red I believe, are in room 2046. so is room 2046 the room of love? it's sort of like in MEAN STREETS where the only times you see the color red are in the bar, which represents the illegal lives these characters live..at night.
- this is a film about memory. the whole thing is a hazy dream of sorts. so are we to believe everything we see? did Mr. Chow and Mrs. Chan really keep their feelings towards each other suppressed? or are we just seeing what they wanted to believe? all we know of what really happened was spoken into the hole, lost forever.