In the Mood for Love

Director: Wong Kar-Wai
Year Released: 2000
Rating: 3.0

Wong's films never quite get me at "hello" and take a while to absorb - this is precisely why I admire him so much; he's a challenge for me as a viewer - and In the Mood is more of the same, though perhaps a step backwards. His camera has slowed down, he's not trying to be flashy and his screenplay is, well, still nonexistent (how he can pull that off is beyond me). It's a love story without any sex, only passing glances as well as several meals together, minimal conversation, and the irrepressible fact that Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung's spouses are having an affair, leaving the two remaining to find a bond together. I find brilliance in Wong's craft, and especially in how he "removes" the cheating wife and husband from the picture - their noted absence makes his point stronger - but in the end I didn't find the same wistful, magical beauty in Chungking Express or even Happy Together for that matter - in the latter film, when Leung and his lover are apart, you can see and feel the loss. The time jumping stuff at the end, in which the last ten minutes are diced to pieces to bring historical aspects of old China into perspective, breaks up the flow.