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Dut yeung nin wa (In The Mood For Love) (2000)

Original Title : Dut yeung nin wa
Director : Kar-wai Wong
Writer : Kar-wai Wong
Genre : Romance
Drama
Country : France
Language : Cantonese
Producer : Ye-cheng Chan , William Chang , Jacky Pang Yee Wah , Kar-wai Wong
Music : Mike Galasso
Shigeru Umebayashi
Photography : Christopher Doyle
Pin Bing Lee
Distributor : Amboto Audiovisual S.L. [es]
MPAA Rating : Rated PG for thematic elements and brief language.
IMDB ID : 0118694
Official site : http://www.inthemoodforlove-wkw.com/
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poster for "Dut yeung nin wa (In The Mood For Love)" by Kar-wai Wong (2000)
Dut yeung nin wa (In The Mood For Love) (2000) - Kar-wai Wong
 

Starring

Maggie Cheung Mrs. Chan, nee Su Li-zhen
Tony Leung Chiu Wai Chow Mo-wan
Tony Leung Chiu Wai Chow Mo-wan
 

Plot

Set in Hong Kong, 1962, Chow Mo-Wan is a newspaper editor who moves into a new building with his wife. At approximately the same time, Su Li-zhen, a beautiful secretary and her executive husband also move in to the crowded building. With their spouses often away, Chow and Li-zhen spend most of their time together as friends. They have everything in common from noodle shops to martial arts. Soon, they are shocked to discover that their spouses are having an affair. Hurt and angry, they find comfort in their growing friendship even as they resolve not to be like their unfaithful mates.
 

Comments

No more days of being wild: the "mature" Wong Kar-Wai The 1962 Singapore in Wong Kar-Wai's biopsy of romance is a world where everything is sexed up--wallpaper, drapes, lampshades, and especially the clothes and hairstyles of his male and female leads, Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung--they're spiffed up to look like a married couple of early-sixties IRS agents who get off on dressing like Jack and Jackie O. Leung and Cheung are two unhappily married lonelyhearts--he's a newspaperman, she a secretary or clerk. Their spouses are off cheating (probably with each other), but our two don't have the nerve to consummate thei obvious attraction. In brief, this is Wong Kar-Wai's BRIEF ENCOUNTER, snugly wrapped in the trappings of the period--Nat King Cole torch songs, tiki furniture, men's suits that evoke talk of "Miltown tranquilizers" and Dean Martin's martini shaker and new-fangled "sick humor." It's the chic of Lenny Bruce and Coltrane, DR. STRANGELOVE and early Yves Saint Laurent. And Wong treats it like the passing of the Sicilian aristocracy in THE LEOPARD. IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE has been praised to the skies, and beyond. (One otherwise rational soul I know compared it to the best works of Kubrick and Scorsese.) But in the movie I saw, Wong's relationship to his material was analogous to Dustin Hoffman's Rain Man's relationship to a spilled box of toothpicks. There surely is a single-minded obsession there, but...what's it all about? Wong doesn't let us in. Both of these actors won prizes at film festivals for their performances, but they aren't allowed to give any performance--they're just a series of costume changes and re-coiffs. The movie suggests what would happen to one of Olive Stone's sixties epics if you sucked everything out of the movie but Victor Kempster's sumptuous production design: Wong fixates on pebbled mirrors, wood paneling, the mustard tray in aWestern-style steakhouse. Wong's earlier, exciting work--notably FALLEN ANGELS (1996) and HAPPY TOGETHER (1997)--had a deliberately Godardian improvisatory looseness. Wong and his cinematographer, Christopher Doyle, seemed to have visual ideas, staging ideas, gag-prop ideas, ideas of miming heartbreak coming out of thei ears. The movies had the excitement of a young poet who walks around the city unable to put his pen down long enough to hold up a conversation. IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE has the grim feeling of the young turk trying to grow up--trying to extend his craft into something classic. In the process, it redefines the concepts of "attenuated" and "studied"--adding no more story to the mix than he usually does, Wong nails down the material that's usually spontaneous and evanescent and tortures elegant formalist shapes out of it. The result is that the movie has the feeling of an extremely slow and self-serious blowing-smoke-rings contest. Especially queer, and not promising for Wong's future, is the ending, which has a mammoth portentousness that's totally out of scale with the movie--a melancholy romantic trifle that ends with Charlton Heston riding into the Statue of Liberty in PLANET OF THE APES. Like so many film artists in this consummately mercantile period, Wong seems to have said, "Enough already! I'm goin' for the big one!"--and lost most of his gifts in the process. (Postscript: If Wong reuses once more the old Scorsese trope of playing the same song twice in a row ...well, the screams in the back row you hear will be mine.)
 
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Dut yeung nin wa (In The Mood For Love) (2000) - Kar-wai Wong
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Dut yeung nin wa (In The Mood For Love) (2000) - Kar-wai Wong
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Dut yeung nin wa (In The Mood For Love) (2000) - Kar-wai Wong
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Dut yeung nin wa (In The Mood For Love) (2000) - Kar-wai Wong
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Dut yeung nin wa (In The Mood For Love) (2000) - Kar-wai Wong
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Dut yeung nin wa (In The Mood For Love) (2000) - Kar-wai Wong
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Dut yeung nin wa (In The Mood For Love) (2000) - Kar-wai Wong
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Dut yeung nin wa (In The Mood For Love) (2000) - Kar-wai Wong
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Dut yeung nin wa (In The Mood For Love) (2000) - Kar-wai Wong
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