- Pretentious Junk 1/2/2006 12:00:00 AM by Nog
The best thing I can say about this film is the art direction, which conveys the claustrophobic inner world of its characters. Virtually without exterior shots, possibly due to budget constraints (i.e. trying to recreate early 60s Hong Kong), the film relies heavily on its lush, over-saturated interior surfaces to create the mood. Yet I would suggest that beyond being representational of the repressed passion of the characters, there is little more to see here besides the sets. The performances have been outlandishly overpraised by the "less is more" crowd. In particular, the often-wrong Cannes judges bestowed a best actor award for a performance that in fact does not even create a three-dimensional character, but focuses on long pulls on cigarettes and blank staring into space. Yeah, great stuff. Both my wife and I have seen thousands of films combined, and we both thought it underwritten, underacted, repetitive, and akin to watching paint dry. Beautiful paint, yes, but that's all.
What is more intriguing is the praise the film has gotten. At least one critic mentioned how he thought the film would have been dismissed as laughable if it had been Western actors in a less exotic locale. Could be. It is baffling that so many can be taken by something with so little merit. I could only find one major critic who panned this film: Peter Rainer in New York Magazine. His comments are spot on, in case you want a more thorough argument regarding its self-conscious aesthete mindset.
- camera movement for this film 6/18/2014 12:00:00 AM by clairetianqihou
In "In the Mood for Love", the director Wong Kar wai uses the only kind of lens movement pattern: shift shot. Compare his and other director camera movement, for example in film "Swallowtail Butterfly" -- the classic period of South Sea Girl shift shot . Wong Kar-wai's approach more simple and standard multi - there are pieces from their drop rate, middle-shift process is very stable, but is not fancy.
The foundation of shift lens is field. That means between two scenes 's shift , or a new scene from the black scenes. This shift lens combined with Maggie Zhang beautiful dress, that may illustrate different places and time. Meanwhile, the shift lens also gives us a steady rhythm: time is goes to our peaceful life.
Another foundation of lens shift is rendering the plot. At the first time, Maggie Zhang and Tony Liang date in a restaurant . They are talking about her husbands 's tie and his wife 's bag. The director uses shift lens but faster than before. This sudden change in rhythm give the audience visual impact. We can understand about most of events happen in our daily life, we feel surprised and sad, but those unpleasant feeling cannot destroy our whole life. That is because of the back grand and their personality. We can see that Mr. Zhou smoking unless in order to control his complicated emotion . ? Wong Kar-wai loves fixed shot, no push shot , no pull shot, and no pan shot. This is the whole style of Mr. Wong 's film. Mr. Wong loves to express emotion use depth of filed. For example, Mr Zhou walks into the hotel room. At the beginning of that scenes, the audience can see the end of hotel corridor. All curtain are red, and Wong uses oblique angle to present this shot. Then director turn to use Zhou 's foot close-up shot .
I think most common shot is the camera follow that main characters and then the main characters stop.All of those will be by full shot or medium shot. However, Wong Kar-wai uses different way to present the salve with depth of filed. In other word , he try to give the audience choice a deep space, and then let your vision will remain at the end of the space. Wong was so careful, and he seems afraid you'll bother to go into the old stories of the characters.
He loves close-up shot with depth of field in this film . When he wants you to see a person's face and eyes, you can not miss. because you never see them before. However, the tone of the whole movie is always free, just little talking , and also the director always remind you that this is yesterday's story, not your story. Be careful them , don't touch them . Just stand far away from them to see them.
- Boring. 8/3/2015 12:00:00 AM by Lambysalamby
I don't think I've been so shocked by a high rating on IMDb before. There are so many glowing reviews here I was expecting some kind of masterpiece but for me this was the biggest yawn fest I've seen in some time.
For one thing, I absolutely love foreign films and watch world cinema far more than Hollywood movies... I'd also seen Chungking Express from the same director as this movie and I quite enjoyed that..
While technically well made, with some beautiful cinematography, good cinematography does not a good film make.. You could equate it to a photo realistic painting of a stone wall, while the skill is impressive in doing that, it would still be a boring painting.
The dialogue was boring, and the plot was thin to say the least! I just couldn't get invested in these characters enough to care.. It became dull and tiresome very fast. Then the same music was used over and over which became very repetitive. I also noted this in Chunking Express which is making me rethink that film and the director...
Overall: I'm giving this film a 5 mainly for the cinematography, but I really feel like I wasted what was left of my night watching this instead of something better..
- Ten hours of elevator music 1/29/2018 12:00:00 AM by jovana-13676
Are you kidding me? It felt like a slow, boring suicide. I get to know the characters as much as a front door camera does. The dresses make this film watchable, so in case you want to see it and enjoy it, look them up on Tumblr or YouTube - it will only take several seconds or minutes of your life. And it won't make you sad. The film is so cold and grows more cold and distant as it progresses, and combined with the boredom that starts about 10 minutes into the film, by the end of it you feel like sitting alone at a station with your feet cold, getting old and gray.
- The Art of Cinema 12/14/2018 12:00:00 AM by swastikchoudhury
IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE - will make you fall in love with Wong Kar Wai, especially, if this is his first film that you are watching. My thoughts on this sumptuously crafted and subtly woven film can end here for certainly that is the summary of it all. But there is a lot more to talk about the film.
(But before that - in a city like Bhubaneswar there aren't any public avenues to watch World Cinema. Certainly the larger demographic is oblivious to what World Cinema is. To most here Hollywood represents World Cinema and what could have been more disturbing than this? One can argue in favor of Netflix and Amazon Prime, but watching a thought provoking film in a big screen along with other curious mind(s) is an experience that no argument can counter. In such a scenario the Film Society of Bhubaneswar is the only savior. They screened Wong Kar Wai's In the Mood for Love along with Days of Being Wild as part of their June screening. I experienced Wai for the first time with "In the Mood for Love".)
One would instantly notice the detailing that has been maintained in every scene throughout the film. The slow panning has been interestingly used to bring the subject into frame, rather the frame onto the subject, thereby driving your empathy gradually towards the predicament the subjects are in. The other thing that has also been very uniquely used throughout is the screenplay from behind veils, translucent curtains, through gaps found in the back of chairs and such. It always gave into a mystery and mystic feeling about the characters who are in focus yet out of focus - signifying a lot about the many confusions that cluttered their minds: emotions and the natural urge versus the high moral standards they want to uphold to.
The film's main narrative is nothing different if one would say it in plain text. But like an auteur's film, IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE wins you through its screenplay, usage of light, cinematography, acting and music which takes the entire context of adultery and morality deeper with a higher philosophical undertone. Set in Hongkong of sixties, the film is about two characters - Chow Mo-wan (played by Tony Leung), a journalist and Su Li-zhen (played by Maggie Cheung), a secretary from a shipping company, both of whom rent a room in an apartment of a building on the same day. Their encounters on the streets or in the stairs were limited to exchange of pleasantries but both of them shared together a lot of loneliness and pain separately in each of their apartment rooms. Chow's wife and Su's husband are most of the time out of the town on their work assignments thereby leaving their better halves to lead a monotonous life in an otherwise crowded city.
There are beautifully shot motifs with lovely background scores showing both these characters carrying forward with their mundane jobs with a smile in their face and hollowness in their heart. During the course of time both gather that their spouses are almost always out (of town) during the same time eventually realizing that they were having extra marital affairs. Chow and Su feel devastated to acknowledge this in front of each other, initially thinking, that only one of them knew about it. [Generally, had the film been made in Bollywood/Hollywood there would have been some very obvious direction that the narrative would have moved. Wong Kar Wai's mastery lies in exploring beyond the obvious even in such a straightforward plot.] Both Mr. Chow and Ms. Su become curious to know why their spouse's cheated on them or how it would have begun. Their conversations used to be "What would they be doing now?" followed up by some role play to understand their respective partner's psyche. While it was a futile exercise to do, they made a point - "We would not be like them" and they agreed, rather promised, to each other.
Mr. Chow nurtured few other aspirations, one of them was to write his own comic books series but never found inspiration. Ms. Su wished to have somebody to talk and share with but never had a soulmate beside her. For each other they filled these empty slots and they felt happy about it. But were careful about the fact that both had agreed "not to be like them". With passage of time, however, conversations became - "Why did you call me today?", "I wanted to hear your voice". They come close to each other literally, when Ms. Su in a reflex leans on Mr. Chow's shoulder and cries about her failed marriage, yet a dignified respect keeps them apart. The film actually goes on a high from here speaking a lot about the unspoken. You feel you have entered into a terrific drama (minus the melo) where both secretly craved, loved and desired for each other but wanted to uphold the other person's moral character. It's so suffocating at one level - where as an audience you also feel for their situation and want them to express their love for each other yet the film and filmmaker has a different plan. There could not have been a better emotional beating than this.
There are coincidences and narrow misses - which both understand and acknowledge - like the burnt cigarette with the lipstick mark in Mr. Chow's apartment in Singapore (where he had moved to so that Ms Su doesn't have to suffer since he has now developed feelings for her) informed him that even after a year's gap Ms. Su has not forgotten him. She had come all the way to Singapore just to see him, waited for him (to return) yet left without meeting him. And then many years later both turn up into the same apartment where once they lived, to look for the other, yet they could not meet.
Wai also touches upon the political issues of Hongkong in those days and how the society was conservative enough to dismiss a lonely married woman's late night outs or friendliness between two separately married man and woman. This would have also offered psychological resistance to Chow and Su from succumbing to their urges.
The film is filled with nuances and it ends on that note. The narrative becomes subtle and deep just because it never attempted to show any of the "obvious" action, throughout, yet you end up feeling obviously that's how it should have been. Though you cringe for their love to blossom, you know the beauty of their relationship lies in their mood to love each other without the obvious physical expression of it.
A must watch!