In the Mood for Love (2000)
Reviewed by: Trigger on 2001-11-20
Summary: Another Arthouse Film... yawn...
Let me preface what I'm about to say by letting you know there are things in this review that may or may not be spoilers.

In The Mood For Love
***/***** (3 Stars)

This film has generated a fair amount of buzz in the festival circuit. To be quite honest, I wasn't all that impressed. It looked promising for the first half, but then just became sludge... nothing was really going on and the spineless characters made me sick. I loved where the story was going, but it never actually got there in my opinion. It just felt as though they ran out of steam. I got rather bored with it near the end - and the ending itself really ticked me off... Well it would have, but by then I had somewhat lost interest.

Maggie Cheung was exquisite as usual - even more so than usual - beautiful and radiant. Tony Leung played his part well - he was less than charismatic, but I believe he was supposed to be a fairly rigid character. I found the cinematography to be quite excellent. It was well crafted and filmed and acted and even the score was great - reminded me of some italian cinema or even Peter Greenaway-esque. The whole thing was very stylish and
fresh. The score got old really quickly when they kept playing the same looped bit of song over and over and over... it sounded like it was supposed to be a small orchestra doing a live score, but it was totally a recording. Minor flaw. I was prepared to give it a 4 Star rating or better, but the ending stunk it up. Not just the very ending, but the last 20 minutes before that just dragged and then they leave us with "that".

Unsatisfying.

Not tragic, not happy, just "blah". Plus, it made me realize how pitiful the characters were for allowing their spouses to cheat on them and not do anything about it except fawn over each other while treating it as forbidden territory. I understand the time and location at which this was supposed to take place and all - but still... I cry at movies sometimes - I'm not afraid to admit it - but I felt nothing for these characters... I wanted to and I kept waiting to, but nothing. Oh well... different strokes for different folks I guess since most people seem to really love this film.

Upon subsequent viewings and watching it with a better print and presentation, the film kinda grew on me. I still don't think it's all that great, but it's worth watching. I agree with the reviewer who stated that you already know if you like this film based on whether or not you like Wong Kar Wai.
Reviewer Score: 6