2046 (2004-HK)
review by Neo

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Seemingly romantic but actually the impossibility of Love...
The new Wong Kar Wai or should I say the movie that took 5 years in the making. With huge expectations from the audience comes a star stunned - 2046 - with more cute and pretty female co-stars in one film than many other - "oh geez I wish I was Tony Leung in the film." The new film can distant people like shit and I can clearly declare 2046 as the film that shows who Wong's was and is and I am pretty sure that those who love it will kiss it and those who hate it will shit on it. 2046 is a film that is strikingly original and unique in its own rights, the acting is edging towards the best, while the film as a whole is highly questionable - there is something about Wong's film - the embracement of love and the impossibility of love that I clearly love watching. Sorry guys and gals, I am a Wong Kar Wai's fan and 2046 is clearly film for his fans. So is it any good? Well I am too bias to say about that till I get to the end.

The story goes like this: (wait, what the hell, Wong's movie have stories? I don't think so): Loosely a sequel to Wong's previous film, In the Mood for Love, Tony Leung once again plays writer Chow Mo Wan, but he is nothing like the Chow Mo Wan from the previous film. Now Chow has become a womanizer who writes soft pornographic stories to sustain his boozing habits. In the film we see his various relationships with a group of women: Black Spider (Gong Li) in Singapore, whose real name, Su Li Zhen, is the same as slz 1960 (Maggie Cheung), his lover in In The Mood for Love. His friendship with Mimi (Carina Lau reprising a previous WKW role), Wang Jing Wen (Faye Wong), the daughter of the motel owner who is in love with a Japanese man (Kimura Takuya) and his illicit affair with callgirl Bai Ling (Zhang Ziyi), a resident in room 2046. Is Chow Mo Wan really a completely different character, existing in a parallel world to In the Mood for Love, or is he really the same character but is now completely destroyed by a failed romance? Lost? Well you won't be if you are a true Wong's fan - cos you will understand that it doesn't have to make any sense!

So do I even understand the movie? Who needs to? Or who actually does, apart from maybe even - WKW doesn't know. All I can say is that it is a very beautiful and pretty film. What I love about Wong is the theme of love - that it is all about chance, fate, luck and the full on randomness of it that he clearly depicts throughout his work. The uncertainty that he drools along is amazing to watch and seeing how couples come to be together and then falling apart. The movie is just a dream - an amazing dream into the world of the meaning of love - meeting someone, missed opportunities, and yes - timing as the most important of all. So why is Wong's films so relevant? Ask yourself or the experiences with your girlfriend, think about how you meet her and all the random events that led up to it. I am sure on most occasions being together is this magical feeling of luck, fate and chance. And Wong surely depicts it the best!

What Wong can do is turning a normal actress into an artistic and stylish actress and giving them space to display their best performances. Just look at Faye Wong, an actress that seems to shine whenever in Wong's films and she is a natural cutie, but once outside - an ordinary crap actress. She is a quality actress and geez she is like a pretty doll with a natural and lively attitude. Similarly, Zhang Zi Yi gives her best performance yet and what a good one it was. For the first time, she doesn't overact and I will give her a pad on the back. As for Carina Lau and Gong Li does well in their minor roles. The costuming is just bloody artistic and brilliant to watch. Even though slow at times, the art like feel is just the best in recent years or the best of Wong's films. As for Tony Leung Chiu Wai, what more should I say than to say - yet another finest performance that is as easy as ABC. If there is an actor I really respect, it would be him! Yet another emotional, fun, easygoing performance.

What I like about Wong's film is the emotional detachment and existentialism approach to his filming. It is all about the infinite possibility of love and the tragic breaking up that results or should I put it the inevitability of ending in relationships. It is all about the right timing, missed opportunities for meeting someone too early or too late. Wong's reinforce in our minds that is filled with romantic comedies, to splash us to realisation that Love is like magic, it is ultimate a feeling that goes beyond just feelings to eventually a part of the randomness of life. Calling this movie postmodern would be an understatement, as it is more than that, it is a style and it is the director's own feeling of the impossibility of love and breaking up in relationships. It is a movie that can be emotionless or touching, as ironic as it seems to be, 2046 is by no means as accessible as In the Mood for Love, but as for Wong's fans like me - this is a hell of a meaningful yet meaningless romantic and sexy ride of a movie. So be careful in taking my advise as wisdom, as I am clearly a biased Wong's fan.

I rate it 9/10

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Product Title : 2046
Artist Name(s) : Tony Leung Chiu Wai | Zhang Zi Yi| Gong Li| Carina Lau
Language : Cantonese|Japanese|Mandarin
Duration : 127 minutes
Reviewed by Neo (Andrew) - December 2004

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