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In the Mood for Love
(Cantonese with subtitles)

Starring - Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung

Director- WongKarWai

This was my first WongKarFai film  and I think it's his most solid and professional work yet. A real director's film this is. The cinematography is great too- filming in tight corners and alleyways of downtown Hong Kong in the mid 50's (?) it follows the comings and goings of two married working class people of the age. Cramped in their surroundings, amidst nosy neighbours and cheating spouses, the pair enact their relationship through the sub-reality of writing a Chinese fantasy novel. Their love plays out like the haunting aching  recurring theme song (Yumeji's Theme- arguably the highlight of the movie's soundtrack) and struggles between the subtle nobility of well-mannered Chinese mores and the chemistry that draws them together. I loved the achingly  s l o w  way their affair played out - making you fill up and devour your own anticipation - and how it sidestepped ending up just another sordid tale about lust and focused on the longing and sticky sweetness of love isolated.

It is a restless moment.
She has kept her head lowered,
to give him a chance to come closer.
But he could not, for lack of courage.
She turns and walks away.

That era has passed.
Nothing that belonged to it exists any more.

He remembers those vanished years.
As though looking through a dusty window pane,
the past is something he could see, but not touch.
And everything he sees is blurred and indistinct.

-In the Mood for Love



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