“In the Mood for Love” Review

20 December, 2016

Year of Release: 2000
Director: Wong Kar-wai
Screenwriter: Wong Kar-wai
Directors of Photography: Christopher Doyle, Kwan Pung-leung Lee Ping-bin 
Cast: Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung

Synopsis: A lonely man and woman, who are neglected by their respective spouses, find themselves drawn to one another after discovering that their partners are having an affair. Driven to chastity by politeness, the pair find themselves growing closer even though they are destined to be pulled apart by circumstance.

In the Mood for Love Review:

A wholly cinematic romance preserved through the pain of wistfulness, “In the Mood for Love” is a masterpiece of visual storytelling ripped directly from the hearts of two tormented souls. The film hones in on the mild-mannered and noble counterpoint that comes with every adulterous relationship as the partners of cheating spouses seek solace in one another during their most depressing of times. It’s a story that refuses to allow infidelity to taint its perfect romance as the would-be lovers suppress their desires and opt for companionship over lust.

“In the Mood for Love” is a film crippled by politeness and formality; a ripe love story without a kiss, a romance without a late night moment of passion, and it’s comprised of a string of small, and somewhat elliptical, interactions that are infected by the high standards set within the socially conservative Hong Kong of the 1960s. Conditioned into remaining chaste and respectful of their partners, the pair refuse to follow suit as they play and elaborate and often heart-breaking game of love without ever reaping the true benefits of romance.


Wong Kar-wai obsesses over nostalgia and pastness as he deconstructs the essence of his lovers’ pain, presenting gliding moments where time stops through images signifying the alluring waft of perfume alongside the painful rigidity of composure. “In the Mood for Love” captures memories in motion, moments remembered fondly but always with an air of sadness as scenes guided by emotion unravel into something ephemeral and unattainable. Like a whisper in the wind or a secret thrown into the ocean, “In the Mood for Love” speaks from an era now passed, a time that had its moment to shine but has now drifted away, lost forever.

 

   

Summary
Review Date
Movie
In the Mood for Love
Rating
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