I have talked about Hollywood movies, I have written about European Cinema. Now it’s time for my favorite director. I call him the King of Modern Cinema. He is the Hong Kong based director- Wong Kar Wai. I am no one to review his films..no position at all. But he just impresses me so much that I can’t resist myself about writing about his films. You will get more from me on him & his films in the coming days.
I have been fan of his movies for quite some time now. And it all began with Fallen Angels (1995). This has been the least appreciated & discussed film of Wong Kar Wai. Wong explores the world of chance encounters in this film made up of parallel narratives, the style which first caught director Quentin Tarantino’s eye in the mid-1990’s.
Fallen Angel is a story of an assassin and love story set in modern day Hong Kong. We follow a set of lost souls searching through their surrealistic environments, attempting to live in other ways, while escaping they’re past and present. A contract hitman leaves his murdering occupation behind him while the woman who used to set up his jobs falls in love with him. Intertwined is a mute who makes a living running other people’s businesses when they are closed and looks for companionship in the midst of a night.He styles hair, sells ice cream, and butchers meat.
Other characters includes a blonde woman who desperately wants the male assassin to love her and a woman on the phone who uses the mute guy as a shoulder to cry on. Wong Kar Wai experiments first time with voiceover narration different than conventional movies, allowing the characters to express their thoughts and feelings to us in ways that they are unable to articulate to each other. Here the various characters of the night randomly appear and fall into orbit close to each other. As is typical of Wong, he leaves the ending unresolved where the two characters’ futures hang in the balance but emotionally and thematically it is complete and satisfying.
There is something different about Wong Kar-Wai’s films. There is this amazing cinematography in his movies or the backdrops his characters live in. Whatever the case may be, Wong Kar-Wai’s worlds inhabit themes of lost and loneliness, darkness and despair & the desire. The movie has Wong’s stylistic signatures. He pours on exaggerated neon-tinted lighting, the use of pop music to underscore moods(one Canto pop song even becomes the source of a message from a killer to his assistant), and pixillated slow-motion action scenes.What impresses me about Wong Kar-Wai’s movies are his characters. They are little too real & dramatic . They carry within themselves a sense of soul fullness that is hard not to feel a connection to.
This movie slowly grew on me & it’s still one of my favorites for its different style. It is like one long poem with some spontaneous prose rich in emotion and depth. You need some patience to watch this. If you do, then you won’t regret but will be left thinking for some time. A master experiment from a Master.