In the Mood for Love

In the Mood for Love ★★★★

It’s two love stories. A love story of physicality, impulse and infidelity, and a love story of timidity, emotion, and incompletion. While Mr. Chan’s and Mrs. Chow’s faces are never on screen, their story is shown through their spouses’ re-enactments. They are never likable characters but as Mr. Chow says towards the film’s end, he understands what happened between them, how love can sneak up on someone even when you don’t want it.

I would love to know if Wong Kar-Wai has studied Sirk films. Like Sirk, dressing tables are central to the film, though Kar-Wai’s mirror shots are his own spin on the inspiration (I love mirror shots and In The Mood For Love has many incredibly executed ones). I also wonder if Kar-Wai specifically took interest in Sirk’s There’s Always Tomorrow. Both films have a similar dissatisfaction, a similar milieu.

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