The Third Film
3. In the Mood for Love
Directed By: Wong Kar-Wai
Starring: Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung Chui-Wai
Genre: Romance | Drama
Language: Cantonese, Shanghai, French
Release Date: 29 September, 2000
“If we indulge into what they are doing, we would be no worse than they are”,
remarks Su-Li Zhen (Maggie Cheung) to Chow Mo-wan(Tony Leung), her apartment neighbour, when they both realise that their respective spouses are cheating on them with each other and that, they are in the mood for love. They do not tend to agree to this, but are reluctant to disagree as well, because they are in the wrong place and at the wrong time, a still growing congested Hong-Kong where people and secrets are often not veiled and yet, there is the sadness of eating alone, of encountered chances of unrequited feelings, a sense of hurt and wonder in re-enactment of their spouses infidelity and eventually, breaking down into each other’s arms.
Easily the most powerful film amongst the three, In the Mood for love is a part of an informal loneliness trilogy by renowned auteur Wong-Kar Wai, who portrays the journey of loss, love and eventual unfulfilled lives of two Hong-Kong bound couples being cheated on and further bound socially and by their own conscience when aroused by true feelings for each other. Visually striking, full of depth and deep colours, lush with noir and a heart-warming recurring background score, it’s in the silences of their love for each other that the director creates an underscored and an understated tale of romance, their ache of betrayal too hard to carry and their pain of being accepted too deep to be understood by the world and perhaps, by themselves. Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung are world famous stars and it is no wonder that they have given what can be called a heart-warming and captivating performance. They prepare each other for the tragedy and they have everything to be successful, but only everything!
The movie’s power lies in its depiction of the cheating spouses; they are never shown on the screen. They may be in London, Tokyo or a downtown hotel, what the director wants is not to concentrate on them, they will never sin on a screen that shows the pure bliss that Su and Chow have created in their morals and love for each other. Adultery is commonplace and boring, only when people carve out a lifetime memory for each other that stays with them as a gift forever.
By: Pranshu Sharma