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Ezra Long
Ezra Long

Faa Yeung Nin Wa (In The Mood For Love)



This post includes a brief plot summary, an explanation about the ending of the film In The Mood For Love / Faa yeung nin wa (2000) and a character analysis of Su Li-zhen and Chow Mo-wan. Beware of spoilers.




Faa yeung nin wa (In The Mood for Love)



When I said the ending was daunting, I also meant beautiful. Although, Chow admitted that he had feelings for Su, he never really expressed the depth of his love for her. In that final scene, Chow finally gets to express everything that he has hold inside all those years.


The unexpectedly shared sorrow brings Mrs. Su and Mr. Chow closer, they start chatting often, and they discover they share the same passion for the historical novels published in the daily newspapers. They make up their mind to write their own story while coming to terms with their unfortunate conjugal situations. They entertain the idea of living something together, but they give up on this fantasy. They used to say, they would never be lovers like their partners: ultimately that means they accept to let their fates part ways, and to stick to parts of their unsatisfactory lives, Mrs. Su becoming a mother, Mr. Chow moving from a position of reporter in a Hong Kong newspaper to a job of correspondent in a Singapore daily.


Tony Leung (Tony Chiu-Wai Leung) stars in In the Mood for Love [Faa yeung nin wa] (2000) as a married newspaper editor, and Maggie Cheung plays a secretary who are drawn together after they both find their spouses are having affairs, in this heart-tugging, exquisitely made fifth movie from cult director Wong Kar-Wei (Kar Wai Wong). It is set in Hong Kong in 1962.


Kar-Wai Wong tells us a seemingly faded and banal story of betrayal and love. But here the story means nothing, here the main thing is the unique mood that the director creates using all means of cinema.


Taking place in Hong Kong of 1962, a melancholy story about the love between a woman and a man who live in the same building and one day find out that their husband and wife had an affair with each other.


I remember back when this girl and I were still together, she once asked me when I fell in love with her. I told her it was like a house you pass every day on the way to work. One day, you notice a for sale sign on an empty lot. Another day you drive by and you notice they've laid the foundations. Another day, the walls are up, and another day there's a roof, a garage, and finally a family living inside. You don't know exactly when all this happened; you just looked one day and noticed it was there.


still probably the definitive cinematic depiction of romantic longing and loneliness. every texture, color, composition, song and overall stylistic flourish contributing to an intense mood of lush melancholy. also helps that most of this movie is just two of the hottest hong kong actors of all time, sitting around beautiful mise-en-scène in beautiful clothing, smoking and eating noodles sensually.


They are in the mood for love, but not in the time and place for it. They look at each other with big damp eyes of yearning and sweetness, and go home to sleep by themselves. Adultery has sullied their lives: his wife and her husband are having an affair. "For us to do the same thing," they agree, "would mean we are no better than they are." The key word there is "agree." The fact is, they do not agree. It is simply that neither one has the courage to disagree, and time is passing. He wants to sleep with her and she wants to sleep with him, but they are both bound by the moral stand that each believes the other has taken.


You may disagree with my analysis. You may think one is more reluctant than the other. There is room for speculation, because whole continents of emotions go unexplored in Wong Kar-wai's "In the Mood for Love," a lush story of unrequited love that looks the way its songs sound. Many of them are by Nat King Cole, but the instrumental "Green Eyes," suggesting jealousy, is playing when they figure out why her husband and his wife always seem to be away at the same times.


Cheung and Leung are two of the biggest stars in Asia. Their pairing here as unrequited lovers is ironic because of their images as the usual winners in such affairs. This is the kind of story that could be remade by Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, although in the Hollywood version, there'd be a happy ending. That would kind of miss the point and release the tension, I think; the thrust of Wong's film is that paths cross but intentions rarely do. In his other films, like "Chungking Express," his characters sometimes just barely miss connecting, and here again key things are said in the wrong way at the wrong time. Instead of asking us to identify with this couple, as an American film would, Wong asks us to empathize with them; that is a higher and more complex assignment, with greater rewards.


Wong Kar-wai leaves the cheating couple offscreen. Movies about adultery are almost always about the adulterers, but the critic Elvis Mitchell observes that the heroes here are "the characters who are usually the victims in a James M. Cain story." Their spouses may sin in Singapore, Tokyo or a downtown love hotel, but they will never sin on the screen of this movie, because their adultery is boring and commonplace, while the reticence of Chow and Su elevates their love to a kind of noble perfection. 041b061a72


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