Projections - Movie Reviews

In the Mood for Love In the Mood for Love

This atypical Asian drama creates beauty from a love with writer and director Wong Kar Wai slowly allowing atmosphere and the smoldering tension between his regular stars, Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung, to find a delicate, elegant balance through an artful, even surreal romance.  The expression of these talented actors is gratifying as they use an erotic charge and chemistry to underscore a furtiveness without the intimacy awaited by Western audiences.

In the Mood for Love feels like a valentine to those lost in love and it delivers a poignant intimacy not often seen on celluloid.  Some may perceive this strange but involving love affair set in 1962 Hong Kong as unsettling but Kar Wai has adroitly crafted the proceedings with style and intelligence.

Cheung is comely as a tall secretary who wears brightly hued flowered dresses and Laung's Chow is a debonair journalist who has moved into an adjoining apartment.  Rebecca Pan is the amusingly intrusive superintendent Mrs. Suen.  Li-zhen Chan (Cheung) and Chow eventually find out after having a meal together and becoming better acquainted that Mrs. Chan's husband and Chow's wife are in an adulterous relationship.

Kar Wai draws the viewer into his stunning, moving romantic opera with the two wounded partners recreating the scenario of the damaging affair as their intimate game becomes more emotional and devastating when they prepare to confront their spouses.  Collaborating on the exquisite lighting schemes are acclaimed photographers Christopher Doyle and Mark Li Ping-Bing.

Colors shimmer from the apartment where Mrs. Chan comes and leaves regularly and within the plush furnishings the fond looks between Li-zhen and Chow add to the sensuality subtly aroused with the ambiance from weather and costume designs.  Having Nat King Cole assisting the classical score with Spanish songs keeps an optimism to a sophisticated film as Cheung and Leung illuminate the souls who permeate a forbidden love.  Finally at a Cambodian temple where Kar Wai finds joy in abstract expressionism which paints a lustrous, deeply wrought picture to In the Mood for Love.

In the Mood for Love

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