review by Neo

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Damn good and damn sexy movie !
It is a funny, yet unfulfilled feeling that Wong Kar Wai’s movie is able to leave you. What ever he does, Wong is a director that leaves you longing more and yet the movie is ending in a manner that you know it is ending. He is realist, actually a somewhat postmodernist and part time stylist. Yes, that’s bullshit, and Fallen Angels is not Wong’s most accomplished work, as it is even more uneven than the now classic Chung King Express, but more depressing and enlightening at the same time. All I all, one word describes Wong Kar Wai’s movies – contradicting. Good or bad, is not really a question to the viewers, as it is more of whether you actually enjoy the ride and feel the sexiness and passion along the way. As it happens, Neo is a big fan of Wong’s films and it is not surprising that he is a bit of a postmodernist himself. After all, life is all about miss opportunities, people you randomly bum into becomes your friends or even partners or people you always bum into and will never even know their names.

Then again, who knows? While 2046, shows Wong’s mature in his techniques and uses more stylish camera angles to portray the impossibility of love and the everlasting feeling of regret, Wong is more experimental in Fallen Angels. However the quick pace of camera makes a picture without a plot more interesting that it should be. Perhaps, Wong is what we should call a bullshit artist, but nonetheless, he knows what the audience is feeling. Shooting phrases of unconventional scenes that you don’t usually see in typical whatever genre flicks, Wong shows the realism yet the unrealistic.

Casting Michelle Reis is just amazing to watch, her beauty romances the screen and her sexiness is as appealing as a dream. In probably her best acting performance in her flower glass career Michelle shows distant and an unbelievably range that she never seems to display. It is another side of her character and scenes of her longing for love leading to masturbation constantly shows her as one of the lonely fallen angels. A menacing performance that overshadows Leon Lai’s terrific screen presence and in probably his coolest role since I do not remember… Acting with a cigarette in one hand 24/7 of the time, Lai shows a side of Wong’s himself – missing opportunities, regretting being with someone that he does not like and longing for perfection and realizing that she is not really the one. A true fallen angel near the end, is that no matter how he say and whatever he longs for is now gone and will never be accomplished again. The Japanese/Taiwanese and Chinese mixture guy turns up in a role that he was born to play, like an adventure or going on a journey to whatever lands it maybe, his life is imperfect, yet happy and sad at the same time. Thinking he has discovered the one, and losing it the next minute, his theory of life never remains unchanged seems more unreal yet extremely realistic. And Karen Mok shows up here and there in a glorified cameo that shows nothing more than continue Wong’s now established theme of the impossibility of love – meeting the right person requires the right timing and everything else.

Surely Wong Kar Wai, is now an established director that his recognition in both HK and Europe, but there are reasons why his films are so memorable. A moment after watching this movie, you will probably be thinking that what a shitass… wait a second, and wait a minute, and even half an hour later, you will still be thinking about this movie. This is why Wong Kar Wai is Neo’s favorite director. He makes me think, leap and whatever you can think of. Perhaps this one is a bit too uneven to become a classic like ChungKing Express, but nonetheless, it is a movie to watch. Not because it is good or pure bullshit crap, but rather because it is such a damn good … damn mad… damn sexy… damn real and damn whatever hell of a brilliant memorable movie.

I rate it 9/10

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Genre: WKW's style/ romance/ action/ drama
Director: Wong Kar Wai
Cast: Leon Lai | Michele Reis Lee | Kaneshiro Takeshi
Reviewed by Andrew (Neo), July 2005