Set in 1962 Hong Kong, the movie revolves around two neighbors, Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung) and Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung), who form some kind of a bond after suspecting their spouses of engaging to an extramarital affair. The two soon acknowledge having feelings for each other, but decide to keep their bond platonic so as not to commit the same mistake as their spouses’.
The movie is a tour de force filled with wordless sequences that strike the audience straight into the heart. The film’s recurring motif of eating alone and the bittersweet of a love restrained are more vividly captured by words not spoken and blank stares by the leads. It becomes even more enchanting due to the undoubtedly sublime cinematography by Christopher Doyle that provides a visual treat to the viewers frame after frame, and the exceptionally distinct directing style of Wong Kar-wai.
“You notice things if you pay attention.” – Su Li-zhen
I have never seen such a quiet film that screams loudly of very deep emotions of yearning, restrainment, and regret. It will remind you of a love you once had and now nothing but lost. It surely is one of the most romantic films I have seen in my life.
Effortlessly sexy and captivatingly poignant, ‘In the Mood for Love’ will keep you in the mood for more.
My Favorite Scene
The final sequence is unequivocally my favorite part of the movie. It is the part where Chow is seen at a ruined monastery in Angkor Wat, indistinctly whispering something in a hole in the wall.
The reason behind him whispering at a ruined wall is the story he once told to his friend about how in the old times, when someone had a secret which he could not share to anyone, he would go atop a mountain, carve a hole in a tree, whisper the secret into that hole, cover it with mud, and leave the secret there forever.
I like this scene because it kind of relates to everyone for we all have our share of secrets kept untold. Now, we know what to do.
“Feelings can creep up just like that. I thought I was in control.” – Chow Mo-wan