What one does when one finds out that one’s wife or husband have an affair? Although I personally don’t know and I hope I will never find out, I can only imagine that the world would collapse, the light would go dark, and helplessness would take over. But what one does if your spouse has an affair with your neighbor’s spouse? If that ever happens to you, and I hope that it wont, you need to rent this film, because I don’t think that any psychotherapist will help you more. The protagonists in this film came together by a circumstance and not by a choice. It seems to me that the director is presenting us with an example of Classical Conditioning, where one stimulus associated with another, unlearned stimulus, create unlearned response. In other words, the protagonists, whose spouses had an affair, developed a neighborly friendship, which lead them to deeper relationship.
More importantly, the film looks sumptuous. The grainy, toxic-hued depth to the picture is intended to evoke the 60s in which the drama plays out. It fails to subsume the beautifully presented Maggie Cheung slinking through each shot like a nylon-clad gazelle in myriad Cheong-San dresses. Her modernity chimes with Tony Leung’s slick Rat-Packster look but shines most brightly against the tawdriness of the old Hong Kong backstreets and its seedy, ubiquitous misogyny. The soundtrack pitting Western easy listening against a bucolic and soulful viola theme perpetuates this meeting of traditions and the only satisfactory but bitter end to the affair.
This movie drove my emotions from one level to another…I wanted soo much at times. When Chow whispered into the hole..I was breathless. From So and Chow’s magical encounter, true love in it’s symbolism and true form was understood. Kar-wai even left us with a physical replication of their life and love so if ever there was a question raised, there was a physical answer produced on screen for us. It’s all a combination of factors, between the subtle experimentation with the direction, the realistic edge of the actors, the music, the clothes, the direct lighting, all of it comes together better than in any other film I’ve seen from this HK romantic wildman. This might not mean it’s for everyone, however; it’s the kind of film one gets tuned into, like some far-off radio station that’s clear as day, but uncommon in a lot of ways, too. After watching this movie again, it feel so different from my very first time. How do you determine love is love, when and where it’s begin. Does it matter you if there isn’t an end. “For all the passing years, as if it is separated by a glass window which is covered with loads of dirts. You can see through but you can’t touch. He is still missing the old days, if he can break through this barriers, he will return to the years that passed away.” People may found it is hard to understand and impatient to it. A simple story, love seems to be never happen, without life and death. But why, why was it so?
Indeed, films of this sort are so scarce that the pontification of romance and sensuality will linger with you for days ensuing the original viewing. It may be a strenuous viewing experience, but there is no denying the cathartic sensibility found in what is a snapshot of the fragile memories we so strive to retain. But why do we, ordinary mortals, give in to the insane, enigmatic, foolish world of love? Because we just do. In the real world of love, we’re stupid and bored–and we try to make our own sullen/romantic/deceiving blue funk called love. What passes both silently and verbally (if not sexually) between this man and woman has a kind of fulfillment that transcends the usual physical consummation…and while there remains a kind of longing, the film-maker gives the viewer the sense of a profound secret connection between two people that stays with them permanently. I hope to see this film again…and urge others to see it more than once also.