In the Mood for Love (2000)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2005-07-05
Set in Hong Kong during the early 60's, Wong Kar Wai's fantastic film explores the lives of two people on the outside of an extra-marital affair. As the movie opens, the two couples are both moving into adjoining rooms in a woman's house, with the movers mixing their belongings by accident. Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung Chiu Wai) works for a small paper, while Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung) is a
secretary. Although at first only casually interacting, the two begin to spend time together after their spouses are constantly away on business. Putting two and two together, they come to the realization that their partners are having an affair with each other. Having lost their sense of companionship with their respective wife and husband, the two find their connection by trying to find out how the affair started, and how each would eventually break off it off. Never becoming a sexual relationship, their bond becomes more of mental one, depending on each for support during the difficult surrounding situation.

This is a true return to form for Wong Kar Wai, who leaves behind the highly stylistic camera work of past films such as Ashes of Time and Chungking Express and instead uses more conventional methods. However, he still manages to create an incredibly artistic and beautiful movie. Kar Wai hardly ever uses straight on camera shots, instead using interesting angles that allow the viewer to imagine what is taking place out of the scene. The screenplay was also written by Kar Wai, and the dialouge between the two leads is great, although some of the best scenes consist of just seeing the emotional changes and non-verbal interactions between Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung. Both do an incredible job in their roles and draw the audience into their painful situations. Although his past films have rather drab color and a faded look, In the Mood For Love has truly vibrant colors, from Maggie Cheung's multitude of slender dresses to the settings in which the two are constantly meeting.

With great acting, excellent writing and wonderful direction, In the Mood For Love is definitely a movie you don't want to miss seeing. Fans of Wong Kar Wai's will certainly not be disappointed, and for anyone not familiar with his work, this is a great introduction to one of the most innovative filmmakers of this past decade.


Reviewer Score: 10