In the Mood of Love returned to theaters, almost 20 years after its first release. This beautiful film by Wong Kar-wai has come out in a new version restored in 4K, sublimating a work of impeccable plastic beauty.
Wong Kar-wai is a Hong Kong filmmaker who is at the forefront of the international co-star scene Chungking Express in 1994. But it was really at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival that the director achieved recognition, as well as real fame in the cinema world. Now considered one of the most important films of the last 20 years, In the Mood for Love is a seminal workbrought in by a duo of actors above.
Set in Hong Kong in the 1960s, the film tells us about the relationship between Mr Chow and Mrs Chan. Neighbors in the same building, and neglected by their respective spouses in a relationship, Chow and Chan become close. The two try to understand the encounter of adulterous lovers, and in doing so, the friendship will lead to worse feelings.
In the Mood of Love was the first of all the meeting of the two actors, whose silhouettes were sublimated by Wong Kar-wai’s camera. Excited to present an impossible romance full of the unspoken, all of the finesse, and therefore far from the flights of a titanic emphasis On Madison Street, the director focuses on the form of substance expression. A move here, a brief look there … as the title suggests, In the Mood for Love is above all a feeling, an atmosphere, rather than a rich, dense plot with lots of twists.
The result is a perfect love affair that has never been shown before. The viewer is invited on a sensory journey at 1h38, where occasional encounters are around the corner of the staircase, scurrying around the corner of a moonlit alley and touching hands in a reading sequence. A morality with a limit to the purity of feelings, however, that results from a double adultery, at a time of complete mutation, in which mores are that of a man and a woman. hugging shoulders outside of marriage is preferred.
Duo of live actors
In the Mood of Love obviously indebted to the unforgettable lead duo. First was Tony Leung, formerly known as John Woo for his roles in A ball in the head and Clean up, who also finds here the role of his life. Crowned with the Best Actor Award at Cannes (the first Hong Kong actor to receive this prestigious title), Leung seems to be almost silent throughout the film, but illuminates all his emotions through impressive physical and movement skill. A nuanced performance that he will apply to the spiritual sequel 2046.
Maggie Cheung shines throughout In the Mood of Love, beautifully dressed and about 26 costumes made for the film. Wong Kar-wai being used to highlighting female characters, Cheung is in tune with the women in his filmography, with the tenderness that comes from every shot. The film goes so far as to completely neglect the mates of the main duo, in order to better separate these two creatures. Yes, they really are the spinal cord in the movie.
What marks anyone who has already seen (or discovered) In the Mood of Love is the picture care that characterizes it. Simply put, visually we are almost into fetishism! Each shot is carefully composed, playing with perfect framing where the missing lines speak a lot about the relationship between the characters as well as their feelings. And from a pure aesthetic point of view it’s a maelstrom of colorswhich we owe to Christopher Doyle (good op ’chief and loyal collaborator of Wong Kar-wai), and Mark Li-ping came to help him.
All elegant, the viewer left himself in the corridors with a red and green carpet with motifs, like the eternal and pure love of our two protagonists. The sublime music of Shigeru Umebayashi and Michael Galasso also wants to be an integral part of the work: if it is the very Yumeji theme that depicts all the sorrow of a suppressed flame, Angkor Wat is full of poetry by to use it on the cello, or finally “Quizas, Quizas, Quizas” by Nat King Cole (in fact, Latin music was very prevalent in 60’s Hong Kong, and was highly praised by Wong Kar-wai’s mother!), In the Mood of Love is a great pleasure for the eyes as for the esgourdes.
A great film that will be completely rediscovered
In the Mood of Love is a good sensory film about a skin-deep love, never fulfilled as planned. Romance becomes anticipation, and becomes a sweet sadness, immersing the viewer into the heart of the feelings conveyed. A gentle love of doubt, a bitter journey into a sanctified past full of innocence, before this perfume turned to pain.
4K film restoration also allows you to fully relive and rediscover this beautiful Wong Kar-wai film. A delight for the eyes in front of today’s visible level of detail, thus reinforcing the organic experience that results. The poetic cinema and all the intimacy therefore, slowly burns but goes to the essence. A film that is alive and feels more than what it looks like: it’s even more dangerous!