Saturday, September 21, 2013

202 of 1001 Movies: In The Mood For Love (2000)

Are you in the mood for this movie? You probably will have to be. While the cinematography is great and the acting is some of the better I've seen from China, it is a very slow story. It leaves for something to be desired since so much was put into every other aspect of it. The actors never over act, the story has potential to be intriguing, and the way the movie is shot is like an eye full of great photography. Kar Wai Wong made one of the best movies I've seen from Hong Kong cinema that can expand outside of the culture to find a story that resonates worldwide, but I can't quite put my finger on what is to be taken away from the movie. With something so character driven you feel there is, but it leaves you empty.

Summary: Su and Chow live in the same apartment complex with their spouses. It seems though that their spouses are always gone out at the same time, and when the two begin to notice other suspicious behavior they believe that their spouses are seeing each other. This leaves the two feeling a bond between each other, so they begin to see each other. The two believe that they don't want to become the people their spouses did though, and avoid a relationship. That may prove difficult they spend together though.

Acting: The acting is one of the strongest bits of the movie. Tony Leung Chiu Wai has been in two movies I've seen so far, Chungking Express and this one. Each of his roles were likable guys trying to navigate the hurt and new hope of a relationship. His characters seem like sad but hopeful people, so he's always intriguing to watch. Su is portrayed by Maggie Cheung. She has the perfect chemistry that works with Chow. Their relationship is never that physical, so to feel the closeness between growing feels like a natural and strong thing to watch.

Filming: Another great attribute to this movie is the way it is shot. The color is vivid and warm, and it focuses in on the details in a way that add to the emotions of the scene. The atmosphere of the film is cozy but also it has a somber feel considering what these two people are experiencing. There is also a score to the movie that is played over throughout, but it is well done and adds to the emotional element of the movie. This movie is based around the beginning of the 60's and it feels intriguing just to watch the costumes and time in Hong Kong.

Plot: Where it does become a huge struggle for me is in the plot. I feel like I already feel the obvious things to come in the movie. The two will figure out what their spouses up to, and then from there you're wanting something to happen. Whether it's seeing the two leave their spouses, or get together, whatever, you're just wanting to see some development. After they figure out what is happening though it seems the movie just stalls and sits on it. We do see some great moments where the chemistry is building, but you feel just as conflicted as the couple when those tiny moments happen. Is it right to be with each other just because their spouses are doing it? Two wrongs don't make a right, and they are aware of this. The movie though stays by a quiet formula, which is nice and artsy, but just a tad dull at times.

In the Mood for Love is romantic to an extent, but the wrong of the situation is well debated between the characters, and the viewer is just as puzzled as to what they should do. The director captures the situation very realistically, and it feels like the movie has a lot of heart. It's artfully crafted into one that is visually alluring, but the plot wants for more.

Rating 7 of 10.

In the Mood for Love (2000) on IMDb

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