In The Mood For Love

in the mood for love

Written and directed by Wong Kar-wai in 2000, this gorgeously seductive film is set in Hong Kong in 1962. Two married couples move into apartments next door to each other on the same day. Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung) and Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung) are often left alone and so build up a friendship before realising that their spouses are having an affair, out of this deception their own friendship grows.

In the crowded streets and cramped apartments, the camera lurks in doorways and slides around corners almost spying on them – going to get noodles has never been so glamorous! The colours are deep and murky with lots of shadows, coils of cigarette smoke and rain, rain, rain. A recurring cello theme follows them around and time is slowed down as they share an umbrella or brush passed each other capturing moments they would like to last forever.

The adulterous couple is never seen, sometimes we hear them in conversation but they are always off screen our empathy lies completely with Chow and Su.  As they spend more and more time together they grow closer but never anything more, “we will never be like them” says Su.  This unrequited love is teased in the soundtrack by Nat King Cole singing: ‘quizas, quizas, quizas’ Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps?

mood for love2

2 thoughts on “In The Mood For Love

  1. While obviously smoking is a Bad Thing, there’s no doubt cinema will miss the sultry seductiveness of cigarette smoke. I wonder if noir cinema would even have existed if there had never been cigarettes… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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