In the Mood for Love

Wong Kar-wai's In the Mood for Love lends itself well to re-watching. I saw it for the first time more than 4 years ago, and I had been wanting to return to it for a while, finally getting a chance today.

It's a wonderfully artistic exploration of love, infidelity, marriage, beauty, regret, time, moral restraint, society. Kar-wai is an expert in creating desired atmospheres and moods. Lights, colors, angles, music, attire (the unforgettable succession of gorgeous cheongsam dresses!) are adeptly used. It is a subtle expressionism that everything in the environment, from dresses to lightening to movement to music is utilized in creating an emotional resonance. The plot is cleverly minimal and ambiguous, opening it up to multiple interpretations, To a large extent, this ambiguity is not because of deliberate withholding of information, but rather an ambiguity that arises from all that can be, and is, left unsaid in a relationship. It reminds me of certain romantic experiences from my own past, which remain ambiguous to me, and I have subjected them to multiple interpretations over years. Perhaps what I love most about the film is the poetic idea that romance transcends dialogues and physical boundaries, and resides in the atmosphere around the characters; the lovers can no more escape it than they can evade the air they breathe.

Comments

sNap said…
"this ambiguity is not because of deliberate withholding of information, but rather an ambiguity that arises from all that can be, and is, left unsaid in a relationship" ---> It's true, the possibilities, uncertainties, hesitations and expectations - so much unrequited - are depicted in this film, fantastically, much like life, floating narratives similar to observed realities'.

Inspired (also) by this film, I feel there are many facets of relationships and interactions - romance, intimacy, self-exploration, boundaries' between the self and the characters/others as a result of the evoked 'emotional resonance - which we experience as we continue through life, as we mature.

We can (in my subjective experience of myself and others) classify them in the only way we know how, based on rudimentary, traditional definitions of what we were taught early on in life or we can keep revisiting them, expanding on our emotional vocabulary as we keep seeing them anew.
This can lead to developing detailed understandings of oneself and keep becoming more and more aware of our own needs in different ways and thus nuanced interpretations of interactions/relationships also evolve.

What a movie.