In the Mood for Love

In the Mood for Love ★★★★

Two lonely souls who are bound by despair. Two hearts aching as a result of an affair. Walls and fabrics are seared in scarlet by a burning desire which can never be fulfilled. Pained by deceit and broken vows, the violin weeps for them as they try to rebuild. 

After a disappointing experience with Chungking Express late last year I felt suddenly inclined to revisit Wong Kar-wai’s filmography, this time going with one of his most evocative pieces from the early 2000s. 

Having a master stroke in visual artistry, Wong paints a doomed pair of roses that blossom in the shadow of a forbidden love. At surface level, the film depicts the complications of marital turmoil but beneath this at its very core, Wong explores some of the most complex human emotions one can feel or relate to. The camerawork of Christopher Doyle suitably captures a sense of confinement and suppressed intimacy between the two characters. Similarly, the intoxicating aura of ‘Yumeji’s Theme’ evokes equal parts sadness and seduction that you’re left feeling shattered yet swaying along to its hypnotic melody. It is a painstakingly beautiful film that is carried eloquently by the subtly sensual performances of Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung. Whatever went over my head during my first venture had finally struck me here in In the Mood for Love.

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