Movie Review

Wang Kar Wai Part II- Chungking Express (1994)


If  Fallen Angels was a master experiment, Chungking Express was one of the starts to Wai’s experiment. Tears Go By was a triad drama, Days of Being Wild was a spin on the youth then Chungking Express was a art-house romance but something very different, very new still.

Chungking Express was the film which launched Wong Kar Wai’s career & gained international plaudits. The film regarded as a love note to Hong Kong, the movie is about two stories of love smitten cops running side by side. It talks about the women they loose & the women they meet. One story is  of young Takeshi Kaneshiro falling for ageless Brigitte Lin, the other pairing Hong Kong cop Tony Leung Chiu-wai with the elfin beauty Faye Wong.chungking-express

Takeshi is a cop No.223 who hopes to reunite with the his departed girl-friend May. Obsessed with expiration dates  be it on love, promises or even canned food, he feeds his heartbreak by ingesting expired cans of pineapple  hoping that day will be the month anniversary of her leaving him as well as his last day of his being 24. He jogs incessantly to keep away from crying. He meets Brigitte Lin’s an unnamed criminal involved in sending drugs overseas by way of illegal Indians living by timings.

The second part features beat patrol cop 663, and the action takes place at a fast food bar in the city’ where  he has caught the eye of the snack bar owner’s cousin Faye, who seems to be developing a somewhat unhealthy obsession with him – and his apartment. She cleans his flat, adds furniture adds fish to his tank – all in the guise of paying the gas bill! Background song California Dreaming adds to the story.

Wong Kar Wai uses quick motion technique in a brilliant way with a very good use of blurry imaging.Wai succeeds in mixing two separate stories together and making it feel like one  juxtaposing the sad melancholy of his characters. The film has a type of energy in it. Performance & the techniques in the movie is simply outstanding. The intelligent mix of fast & slow motion techniques makes the cinematography very interesting with a very crisp editing. As usual wong style  cameras are shot from behind the actors  handheld as people move up & down streets or through corridors.chungking

The movie portrays the Love lost & love found in a very interesting way. As typical of Wong, every character in the movie is weird in a way or another. The women are charming but mysteriously  and men are lonely .  It’s chaotic…it’s open ended…It’s still a masterpiece…Chungking Express is  a movie for moviemakers. The camera moves with the moods of its subjects, dancing with Faye as she works at the counter, or slowing to a leisurely pan as Cop #688 watches the pedestrians walk past in the evening..Another Masterpiece by the    master


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