Movie Review – In the Mood for Love

Posted: June 2, 2013 in Movie Reviews
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If there is some movie which stays true to the tag “poetry in motion” its “In the mood for Love.” Well there might be many who’d have had food alone and regretted the experience. You won’t hereafter, after watching this movie because the theme music of this film “In the Mood for Love” will keep reverberating in your ears for quite some time. I’d suggest you all to have lunch alone to know how good a music this is.


Set in a conservative 1960’s Hong Kong this is a story of two neighbors who are destined to love each other. Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung), a journalist and Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung), a shipping company secretary are neighbors who are content to live their own life. They look like characters stolen out of pitch perfect portraits. Their attire, the way they walk, and their modesty everything looks artificial. Like music it certainly sits on the notes without even a hint of variation.

Though they are very formal with each other they certainly long to create an impression to gather the attention of each others. The only other main character in the film is their landlady Mrs. Suen. She’s the only normal person in the movie but she looks totally out of place in a movie where a BGM haunts you every now and then and transcends you to different world, the main characters are self made portraits and the setting too is no way less in flamboyance.

The movie is seen from the two leads point of view. Whenever we see Su we see her from Chow’s point of view. And when we see Chow it’s from Su’s point of view. That’s why even Su’s simple walk to noodle shop looks like an orchestra to Chow as well as Su. Whenever they talk to their spouses it’s highly annoying to not know who they are. Aren’t we put in this situation at least once in a while? We hear a beautiful voice but we don’t know how that person looks. There might be someone coming out of the house with nice smiley face, waving good bye to someone but we don’t see who the other person is who has made the person we see happy. Similarly here too there is a decent amount of conversation between their voice-only spouses which irks us.

They both doubt their spouse’s fidelity. Or it might just be a reason to talk with each other because we never know what their other halves stories are. We are led by hand by these two people who instruct us on how to view their life. We view similarly without going to the back of their head to know what’s the actual story. That’s the success Wong Kar-Wai has achieved with this movie.

The whole film has a hint of red shade which works very well. It’s as if they are in high alert mode. Even when Su sleeps on Chow’s shoulder and when Chow smiles for her writing they are very much conscious of themselves. They have this inhibition going against them. They guilt of leaving their spouses pricks them whenever they try to forget each other and romance. The whole problem lies there. They are not able to get away from the mould they are in. And whenever something flashy happens the BGM interlude gets started.  Their sadness is more beautiful than their love.

They are in the mood of love but never actually get to love whole heartedly. We don’t know what their past is. They are normal people who have got married under some circumstances but not everyone gets to see the quality in other person which they’ve always wanted to be associated with their spouses. That’s when they think they’ve made a mistake. They are not too sure to go with what their heart says. Their conscience stops them from doing something silly but their heart doesn’t tears them apart for not going for it.

In some situation they have get away from each other. Eventually that happens but like a long lost lover flipping through the photos and going to places where they went together they too go to their house where they resided and first met and come back empty handedly. Just to get assured that what they did was right.

In the mood for Love is a complicated movie in itself. Wong Kar-Wai and Kim Ki-duk have this quality of making unconventional movies which doesn’t let the viewer to decide between right and wrong. Kim Ki-duk worked for me but this didn’t. But I’m no way putting off this movie as a bad movie. I think I’m not in a kind of situation where I could watch such a profound love story. I still want something to happen in a movie. I’ve to specially mention how much music could mean to romance and romantics. I’m sure that Wong Kar-wai is a romantic.

I like the title of the movie too “In the Mood for Love” with alternating capital and small lettered starting words. Kind of explains the ups and downs, highs and lows of love and music and all.


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