Wednesday, October 13, 2004


Originally Posted On: 13th Oct 2004

This is an arty farty flick, no doubt about that, and I gotta admit I'm not an arty person - what made me want to watch this film is it features the hottest chinese actresses in 1 movie: Zhang Ziyi, Gong Li, Faye Wong, Carina Lau and Maggie Cheung (even though it was only 1 scene which lasted no longer than 10 seconds, without dialogue). Tony Leung is a lucky man :P

It is difficult to rate arty flicks, the reason being the themes resonates differently for each movie goer. I shall try my feeble best to explain those that are felt by myself

1. The narrative
2046 is kinda like Tarantino's. Timelines get blurred as you get zipped forward and backward, interspersed by black and white titles. It is stylistic - who would've thought smoking a fag would be shot so artistically?

Tony Leung is Chow, a character from the previous Wong Kar Wai movie "In The Mood For Love" (ITMFL). Though I haven't really seen that film, this Chow is different. Love changes a person, and here, we see a Chow who has lost love after ITMFL

Simply put, we journey with him through the 60s, where he experiences different relationships with the mentioned chicks - Zhang Ziyi (a socialite), Carina Lau (reprising her role from an earlier Wong Kar Wai movie "Days Of Being Wild", and there is a brief mention of the late Leslie Cheung's character as well, which I felt was a tribute), Faye Wong (a hotelier's daughter), Gong Li (a cambodian gambler), and Maggie Cheung (from ITMFL),
and all these while shuttling between Singapore and Hong Kong, where he stays at the Orient Hotel, right next to room 2046, which has its significance from ITMFL.

The feel of the movie was like Days of Being Wild, with Days being a chronicle of Leslie Cheung's character, and 2046, Tony Leung's Chow.

2. The story within a story
This was a bit like Hollywood's Adaptation (starring Nicholas Cage), where a writer writes his fictional story, and it gets intertwined with the movie's narrative. This one features Chow's futuristic story, which is called 2047 (the room he is staying in), and is based on his life experiences and the characters he interacts with. It is perhaps this portion that many movie goers will find confusing, as philosophical messages of love gets repeated ad nauseum. This gets played out by japanese actor Takuya Kimura and features the girls as andriod stewardesses serving passengers on a train leaving a place called "2046"

3. Relationships
This, I felt, is the core theme in the movie. Anyone who's experienced love, in whatever form, will be able to relate to the relationships explored and presented in this movie

Chow and Ziyi - passionate, physical, lust, starts with a bang and ends just as fast, one-sided (and of course, this provides the opportunity for a lot of eye candy :P)

Chow and Faye - one of respect, brotherly-sisterly love

Faye and her Japanese Boyfriend - difficulties and challenges in a relationship, cultural differences, parental objection

Faye and her father - father-daughter (duh!), parental love

Chow and Carina - long lost friendship, what could have been

Chow and Maggie - one of longing, what you could not have

Chow and Gong Li - one of substitution, rebound, as Gong Li's character shares the same name as Maggie's Su Lizhen, and is chronologically the first female lead Chow gets involved with

At times the movie drags, but if you're watching this film and feel that the pace is putting you to sleep, take a step back and explore the themes in the movie (I believe you'll be able to find something different), and how it probably relates to you.

And I think you're in for a surprise.

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