Stephen’s review published on Letterboxd:
With only his second directorial chair, we see many of the WKW signature devices in place – poetic voiceovers, moody characters unable to relate to each other, doomed romances, lots of close ups and a wonderful soundtrack.
Several of the characters featured here also crop up in WKW’s later masterpieces In the Mood for Love and 2046 though it’s stretching it a bit to call it the first of a trilogy – there isn’t really a strong narrative link between the films – though I may change my mind when I re-watch these two films at Picturehouse next month. It does however create the romanticised 1960s Hong Kong that serves as backdrop for all three films – I want to go to there.
The fragmented story doesn’t work quite as well for me as the later films, but it’s still head and shoulders above most other movies. Wong Kar Wai is hands down one of my favourite directors and it’s a real shame he hasn’t been able to make more movies over the last 20 years.