Books and Movies Reviews

in the mood for love2

What would it be like to conceal your emotion when you are deeply in love with someone? It is what happens to Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung Chiu-wai) and Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung Man-yuk), who are next-door neighbors in an apartment building in Hong Kong, 1962.
Love and marriage is the most essential underlying issue in the film. Interacting with another important element, that is the Chinese traditional culture on respectability, love is expressed in an implicit way which allows the two in love no physical contact. Mr. Chow and Li-zhen are purely soul mates who are painfully polite to each other, which means you do not know what they are thinking.
With flash-forwards, the story can be set across 4 years between 1962 and 1966 so that changes in the life of the two main characters can be shown. It is told episodically, base on the issue of Chow and Li-zhen?s learning of their spouses having an affair with each other. After theirfirst meeting in the restaurant picking up hints from each other, the two become close friends, and the attachment between them grows deeper and deeper. Therefore, the restaurant scene is the crucial part contributes to the development of the story.
The smoke from the cigarette of Chow, the mirrors in the rooms and the shadows of the two at the corner of the street create a dreamy mood. The movie is so peace and quiet that you can hear only slow and short, but meaningful and calm speeches of the characters. ?§We are not like them?, meaning neither Chow nor Li-zhen will transgress as their spouses have done. The evocative music sounds like heartbeats and heightens the inner struggle of the two lovers having guilty mix of tension and desire. Under the watchful eyes of the still-traditional society (the tension), the two never act upon their desire of love, not even verbally express it. We can get the rhythm of director Wong Kar-wai from Chow and Li-zhen?s passing each other politely in the hall and in t…


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