Wong Kar Wai’s “In the Mood for Love”

Wong Kar Wai’s 200o film, “In the Mood for Love” can be a bit confusing at times, but ultimately succeeds in depicting the power of love. Firstly, it is difficult to tell Mrs. Chow and Mrs. Chan apart when viewing the film with the subtitles. When looking at the subtitles during parts when there is heavy dialogue, one does not get a chance to look at the actors and their body language. Also, much of the tone of the actors voice, along with the sound of the voice and any verbal mannerisms that the character might have gets lost when viewers are watching the subtitles. However, it becomes easier to tell them apart when the other characters in the film refer to them by their name. Moreover, one of my favorite parts of the film is when Mr. Chow and Mrs. Chan are walking through the alley to  to the store to get noodles. This scene reoccurs multiple times throughout the film, but in each instance, the same music is playing. Wong Kar Wai does this so that viewers feel the same feeling each time they view those scenes and are reminded of those previous scenes. He wants viewers to root for Mr. Chow and Mrs. Chan, even though they do not want to be like their respective spouses. Additionally, Wong Kar Wai make the focus of the movie about the characters and the emotional pain that they are going through. More often than not, a director will try to make the focus of a movie sex, drama or violence. With this movie, the focus is on the individual characters and their  feelings on the situation. Lastly, the ending had a lot of potential, but was lost by the way the ending was portrayed. Is the child Mr. Chow’s? What happened to Mr. Chan, is he still in Japan? This might have been an issue with the subtitles and confusion of the characters, but holes were still left open at the end of the film. Nonetheless, I felt that the ending, showing the gap in the years and having Mr. Chow come back, was excellent. Overall, I would recommend the film to anyone who wants a film that evokes emotion and that is not a traditional modern-day drama film.

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